Path BioAnalytics is a computational biotech company developing novel precision medicine assays to support drug discovery and development, and treatment of disease. PBA is primarily focused on 3D organoids as minimally-invasive personalized models for predicting drug efficacy in preclinical and clinical settings.
The ultimate goal is to efficiently match people with the medications that will benefit them the most (Precision Treatment) and to provide early data on drug action in specific populations prior to the start of costly clinical trials (Precision Development). PBA is currently deploying its technology in the respiratory and rare disease space, with plans to expand to address unmet needs in the gastrointestinal, ophthalmology, and central nervous system fields. PBA has received support from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (National Institutes of Health).
PBA’s workflow involves the processing of both time series and image data. After several years of using leading proprietary and open source software systems, PBA made the jump to Julia.
“We were initially attracted to Julia because of the innovation we saw going on in the community,” said Katerina Kucera, PhD, PBA’s lead scientist. “The computational efficiency and interactivity of the data visualization packages were exactly what we needed in order to process our data quickly and present results in a compelling fashion.”
The company has converted all of their legacy code to Julia, resulting in over a 65-fold decrease in computation time and over a 55% increase in the accuracy of key algorithms, while also significantly reducing their code base. An added benefit was decreased on-boarding time for new employees and interns due to the intuitive nature of the language.
According to Dr. Kucera, “Julia is instrumental to the efficient execution of multiple workflows, and with the dynamic development of the language, we expect Julia will continue to be a key part of our business going forward.”