Monday August 17th 2020

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BioLizard, a bioinformatics and AI solutions company, today announced the receipt of a €300,000 research grant from Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) to leverage its world-leading expertise in bioinformatics, AI and machine learning, to establish the causal link between the human microbiome and disease.

The growth in researching the microbiome in academia and industry has led scientists to establish associations between microbial populations in the human gut with obesity, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, COVID19 and many more health issues. This suggests that deeper understanding of the role that the microbiome plays in human health could accelerate research in drug development, biomarker discovery and nutrition.

Collecting data from the broadest set of microbes, patient background and interactions, BioLizard is building a framework using state-of-the-art bioinformatics and AI tools to evaluate causal links in the human microbiome, purely from data. This will allow evaluation of whether microbe A causes disease B or if they’re only distantly related, thereby requiring a refining of focus.

“This research grant from VLAIO will enable us to build a state-of-the-art framework to discover drug targets and biomarkers supported by real cause-effect relations as part of our bioinformatics service offering to the biopharmaceutical and nutrition industries,” said Liesbeth Ceelen, Director of Business Development at BioLizard. “From an industry perspective, these associations are extremely interesting. Since we can modulate our microbiome through nutrition, pro- and antibiotics, we should be able to influence the development of these diseases through discovery of validated targets for intervention.”

“The Flemish region is a center of excellence in bioinformatics, AI and computational biology. We are grateful to VLAIO for their recognition of start-ups in the sector and their support for future growth and entrepreneurship,” added prof. Wim Van Criekinge, co-founder of BioLizard

About BioLizard

BioLizard NV leverages its expertise in bioinformatics, biostatistics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and data mining to solve the most challenging questions in biology and deliver solutions to clients. By combining expertise from diverse backgrounds, BioLizard provides a complete solution to its client - from data analysis to the system integration and the development of an AI-aided interpretation system. The company was founded by Novalis Biotech Incubation. For more information visit www.lizard.bio.