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BERKELEY, CA - VANCOUVER, BC January 4, 2008 — IO Informatics, Inc. ( has announced the extension of the mandate and scope of its Working Group on Semantic Applications for Hypothesis Generation in Translational Research. The Working Group, which was formed in July of this year, has extended its time frame to March of 2008 and increased its scope.

Dr. Erich Gombocz, VP/CSO of IO Informatics and Chair of the Working Group, stated, “We are very pleased with the progress of the Working Group. The interactions between members have been extraordinary, so we were able to move forward and cover a lot of ground quickly. We worked on important areas pertaining to scientific research in the translational and biomarker arena such as the direct use of RDF, OWL and N3 data sources. We have already combined these elements with the intuitive “drag-to-knowledgebase” capabilities of the Sentient Knowledge Explorer and these are scheduled to be part of the next release. Direct integration of local data and web URIs has also been implemented. These will empower life science researchers with semantic tools that make use of multiple –omics and clinical sources to better understand the underlying biological functions in context”.

“Through our working group feedback, options to provide dimension reductions to relevant sub-networks have been added,” Gombocz went on to say. “As part of the announced extension of the working group mandate and scope, we will be working on a thesaurus framework for terms and relationships - to coherently merge entities, ontologies and relationships, providing meaningful representation across disciplines”.

This is an example of how Sentient technology, working behind the scenes, makes data integration much more practical for the typical user by making it easier to merge data and data relationships from any standard or terminology.

The Working Groups is made up of prominent researchers from both academic centers of excellence and industry including: Pat Hurban - Executive Director, Scientific Affairs at Cogenics, Inc. (Division of Clinical Data, Inc.), Alan Higgins – VP Preclinical Development at Viamet, Jonas Almeida - Professor of Bioinformatics at the Division of Quantitative Sciences of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Ted Slater – Associate Director Knowledge Management Informatics – Indications and Pathways Center of Emphasis at Pfizer, Mark Wilkinson – Assistant Professor Medical Genetics & Bioinformatics at the James Hogg iCAPTURE Center, and Bruce McManus – Director of the James Hogg iCAPTURE Center.

“Bruce and I are very excited to be part of the IO Semantics Working Group,” said Mark Wilkinson of iCAPTURE. “IOI has created a great environment that allows researchers to immediately use Semantic capabilities as a foundation for knowledge-building. When I first had the opportunity to see the IO Suite of tools, I got the feeling that we are almost at a point where the Semantic Web can become accessible to the masses (at least in regards to biology).”

Semantic software applications use the “RDF” (Resource Description Framework) data model to enhance Life Science researchers’ ability to understand how data fit together in complex biological systems, and to explore and share information about data and their relationships to diseases and treatments. The working group’s mandate is to extend IO Informatics’ technology and user workflow to refine and deliver methods for improved biomarker qualification and hypothesis generation to the translational research community. Its membership is made up of senior life science researchers from leading industry and research institutes. The group is focusing on refining Sentient software technology and use cases for biomarker identification and hypothesis generation in translational research.

About IO Informatics
IO Informatics is at the forefront of a global revolution in software methods for data integration. IO Informatics’ Sentient suite of software products enables biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical and other life science researchers to structure and define complex data relationships, view these relationships, query them, and capitalize on them — all within a secure, compliant, auditable framework that helps organizations accumulate and leverage knowledge. Founded in 2003, IO Informatics has recently moved to new offices in Berkeley, California.