Press Release

Integrated access to over 25 years of Parkinson's disease high quality data and related public data provides a major step forward for precision medicine research and collaboration

Berkeley, CA, Sunnyvale, CA - November 9, 2015

The Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center ( ) and IO Informatics, Inc. ("IOI" - ) today formally announced their collaboration that has resulted in the creation of "Parkinson's InsightT", an integrated data environment for personalized medicine, clinical informatics research and collaboration.

Dr. J. William Langston, MD, founder and CSO of the Parkinson's Institute commented, "When we founded the Institute over 25 years ago it was my dream and vision to collect high quality clinical and research data because I knew it was going to be critical to helping us to solve the mystery of Parkinson's. Now we've got the data but connecting it is the next most important step in solving the puzzle. By working with IO Informatics and deploying their semantic technology tools and services we are integrating our data and application resources in a powerful way that will allow us to interrogate the data and find new connections that otherwise would elude us. I feel confident that the solution to Parkinson's may very well reside in the data we already have in our archives. We just need to look at it in a new way and start connecting all the dots."

The Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center has partnered with IOI to apply advanced semantic technologies to integrate and search the Institute's data, including decades of carefully secured information related to disease presentation and progression, image data, treatment information, genetic, protein and metabolic information and information from extensive electronic medical records. Semantic technologies are the World-Wide-Web Consortium ("w3c" - global standard for research data integration.

"It is challenging to connect and search the valuable data we have collected during our 25 years of clinical care and research," said Dr. Carrolee Barlow, MD, PhD, CEO of the Parkinson's Institute. "We have close to 100 different data sources containing the highest quality information. Our physicians and scientists couldn't ask questions of the data without doing an enormous amount of tedious manual work."

IOI's CEO Robert Stanley explains, "Connecting complex data collected over many years while ensuring that new data can be automatically added and easily integrated into the existing data has been a roadblock to therapeutic advancement for decades. In order for data to be useful, it must be connected by meaningful relationships, with consistent and common identifiers. Our SentientTM informatics software platform handles these problems through smart computation methods that lets the computer do most of the work. Sentient combines artificial intelligence (using specialized "semantic" methods), advanced math and specialized scientific dictionaries to make it possible to ask mission-critical questions across previously disconnected data sources. For an analogy to how this works, think of a meeting of several people with a common problem to solve, but each speaking a different language. Sure, information can be exchanged by gestures, but a truly rich combination of collected wisdom is impossible. Insights remain hidden. This is a common situation in clinical research today. Following the language analogy, SentientTM acts like a translator that harmonizes meanings and relationships from any language (or data source) to any other. Instead of a series of separate data silos, we create a seamlessly connected data network. For a small fraction of its original cost, the Parkinson's Institute can uncover insights hidden in the 25 years of data they already have."

To learn more about the state of the art for data harmonization and integration in Healthcare and Life Sciences, contact IOI.

About the Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center

Two and a half decades ago, Dr. J. William Langston and a dedicated group of Parkinson's disease experts set out to create a better way to research and provide care for Parkinson's disease. Patients would become partners in developing their care plans, improving their quality of life, and discovering new strategies to confront and manage their disease. Compassionate care would work hand in hand with cutting-edge research to seek answers, develop new therapies and treatments, and ultimately work toward a cure. The result was the Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center-based in Sunnyvale, California-America's only independent nonprofit organization combining world-class care, clinical research, laboratory research, and clinical trials for Parkinson's disease under one roof. The Institute's research focus areas include: biomarker discovery and clinical research; translational research on genetic forms of Parkinson's; a world class LRRK2 research and drug discovery program (LRRK2 mutations are the most common known cause of familial or inherited Parkinson's disease); stem cell modeling referred to as "Parkinson's disease in a Petri dish"; and clinical trials and research on the diagnosis and treatment of the motor and non-motor related and early features of Parkinson's. To learn more and to support their mission visit,, and or call toll free, (800) 655-2273.


IO is at the forefront of the semantic technology wave. The Company provides software and services for uniquely efficient data integration and transformative knowledge applications in life sciences, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical environments. IO is headquartered in Berkeley, California with offices in Canada, Western and Eastern Europe and Asia that partner with life science and healthcare customers in industry, academia and non-for-profit foundations. IOI participated in the tranSMART Cross Neurodegenerative Disease Datathon ( this past summer in Boston.

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