MAvatar is the first company in the world to construct digital twins of individual patients based on combined genome-wide and clinical routine data. The twins are used to find and test the optimal medication for each patient (Figure 1).
Figure 1. The digital twin concept for personalized medicine (from Björnsson et al. Genome Medicine, in press).
A) An individual patient with a local sign of disease (red).
B) A digital twin of the patient is constructed in unlimited copies, based on high-performance computational integration of thousands of disease-relevant variables.
C) Each twin is computationally treated with one or more of thousands of drugs. This results in digital cure of one twin (green).
D) The drug that has the best effect on the twin is selected for treatment of the patient.
One of the most important health care problems is that many patients do not respond to treatment. An important reason is that common diseases depend on altered interactions between thousands of genes and environmental factors, in combinations that differ between patients that do or do not respond. MAvatar combines genome-wide single cell analyses and routine clinical data to construct Digital Twins of individual patients. The twins are computationally treated with thousands of drugs to find the one that is optimal for the patient. The twins are also analysed to find combinations of diagnostic variables to personalise treatment. We also develop software for clinical decision support based on the identified variables.
MAvatar originates from the Centre for Personalised Medicine (CPMed) at Linköping University, Sweden. CPMed aims to develop methods for personalised medicine and drug discovery based on combining genome-wide, bioinformatics, experimental and clinical studies. We have shown the feasibility of this in publications in leading journals like Science Translational Medicine. Because disease-associated genes are variably expressed in different cell types, single cell RNA sequencing plays an important role. CPMed integrates multi-disciplinary experts with clinicians, and has a wide collaborative network participating in several EU projects. CPMed and MAvatar are directed by professor Mikael Benson, who is an MD with almost twenty years of translational high-throughput research. Danuta Gawel is chief senior scientist, responsible for bioinformatics tool development at MAvatar.
We construct digital twins based on integrating single cell and/or bulk RNA seq data with routine clinical data, such as laboratory tests, digital pathology or imaging. The twins are constructed by a team that integrates genome-wide, bioinformatics, functional and clinical or mouse model studies. The same team can help design studies based on clients’ aims, and also develop new studies in an interactive process. MAvatar can also partner in EU consortia and contribute experience based on successfully applying for three EU grants. Clients include hospitals, academic researchers and pharmaceutical industries.
The MAvatar Team
The MAvatar team is a multi-disciplinary group of experts in bulk- and single cell omics, bioinformatics, functional and clinical research. To ensure clinical relevance and feasibility MAvatar is closely linked to clinicians in the university hospital as well as national and international colleagues.
MD, PhD (integromics)
MD, PhD (translational omics)
Bioinformatician, Chief scientific Officer)