The problem our project solves
Hundreds of millions of dollars are currently spent on COVID-19 genome tests, mainly RT-PCR tests. It works based on detecting specific genetic material in a sample collected from the patient. Because of this, in the case of virus mutations, the test specificity and sensitivity can be greatly decreased.
- Many of the tests are not suited to the region, where they are used which results in a lot of false-negative outcomes
- The sequences are not collided with other coronaviruses genomes, which results in false positives, driving the costs of medical care high and making it harder to unfreeze the economy
- When developing the test, the current trend of mutation is not taken into account, so developed tests may start to behave poorly very quickly
What we bring to the table
We give laboratories superpowers, by performing all the sequence analysis for them in just as little as a few minutes.
Our solution enables any laboratory or pharmaceutical company to analyze their RT-PCR test parameters against our database of over 100k SARS-CoV-2 genomes. We check the frequency of mutations and how they affect testing, making tests much more suited to the region where they will be used, enhancing their efficacy. What is more, we verify the given sequences with genomes of other viruses, to test if someone with other diseases than COVID-19 would get a positive result. Shortly we will be also implementing a model that predicts the evolution of the virus. This will enable any laboratory to develop tests much better suited to the current stage of virus mutation.
In the span of the last few days, we managed to deploy a new website with redesigned and enhanced ML models to verify tests much more effectively. We already have contacts with laboratories, which are more than interested in our product..
Our solution’s impact on the crisis
Our mathematical model enriched with ML algorithms is designed to help any laboratory or pharmaceutical company with choosing the right sequences (primers) for the RT-PCR test. Any employee can go to the website, type their primers, and just after a few minutes see how effective they are in different parts of the world. Due to the lockdown, the virus is mutating differently in various parts of the world so this approach is crucial, one test will not be perfect globally. From the company perspective, we are giving them a tool to verify the efficacy of the primers in just a few minutes, which can greatly speed up the process of developing and testing them. This of course saves them a lot of costs and may boost up sales by delivering better tests to the market.
We have talked with over 20 professionals, including doctors, immunologists, laboratories, investors, and mathematicians and they were eager to help us deliver the product on the market. After recognition and awards from Eu vs Virus and many other Hackathons, multiple experts from several fields offered help to develop our solution, which gave us another huge confidence boost in the project.
The necessities to continue the project
For us to scale up this project, we need partners that can help us with getting more computational power to develop much more extensive models. Moreover, we need more contacts with pharmaceutical companies to work with them directly during the development and to know exactly what they require and how to deliver it. Their feedback is invaluable for the success and impact of our product.
The value of our solution after the crisis
We are building our models not to overfit and to work only with the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the moment, but with the plan to generalize them after the pandemic is over. This virus, of course, is not the only virus with which mankind has struggled with. HIV is also well known for its fast mutation rate and we will be implementing several new tools to help with tackling the problem of HIV spread.
We have many years of experience in hackathons and real-life projects. Our team combines a multi-disciplinary knowledge of machine learning, full-stack development, mathematics, and business development. We are mathematics and computer science students at the top Polish university, which is the University of Warsaw. Our Co-Founder is also double-majoring as a medical student at the Medical University of Warsaw.
- Grzegorz Preibisch- Warsaw University - Mathematics, Medical University of Warsaw - Medicine - Experience in virus modeling, performing tests and immunology
- Piotr Grzegorczyk- Warsaw University - Mathematics - Experience in business development, data science & strategical planning
- Piotr Styczyński - Warsaw University- Computer Science - Years of experience in DevOps, design and machine learning