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CosmosID Demonstrates Industry-Leading Performance for Strain-Level Microbiome Analysis in MOSAIC Challenge and PrecisionFDA Challenge
(June 20, 2018)

ROCKVILLE, Md., June 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CosmosID, a bioinformatics provider and NGS service laboratory, announced that the company's cloud-based bioinformatics platform for microbiome analysis has received the highest score in the strain-level microbial profiling category of the Mosaic Community Challenge and for strain-level microbial identification in the precisionFDA Pathogen Detection Challenge.

The Mosaic Community Challenge: Strains #1 is the first of three Mosaic Community Challenges powered by DNAnexus, which is sponsored by Janssen Research & Development, LLC through its Janssen Human Microbiome Institute. The challenge aims to benchmark and improve computational methods in strain-level microbiome characterization. CosmosID bioinformatics received the highest score in microbiome profiling.

CosmosID also participated in the precisionFDA CFSAN Pathogen Detection Challenge, also powered by DNAnexus, and again took the lead in strain identification by correctly identifying the highest number of culture negative and spiked-in samples and overall outperforming other contenders in strain-level detection and identification of microbes in metagenomic samples. This challenge was organized by the Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA CFSAN) to help improve bioinformatics pipelines for detecting pathogens in samples sequenced using metagenomics.

CosmosID led both challenges demonstrating highest scores for sensitivity (recall) and precision. "Most algorithms available today achieve robust sensitivity by trading off specificity and precision, effectively accepting false positive calls," explained Manoj Dadlani, CEO of CosmosID. "Our machine learning based algorithms keep false positives under control and have grown smarter with each of the tens of thousands of datasets analyzed from a wide variety of sample types. This is how our bioinformatics continuously improve and achieve industry leading sensitivity without sacrificing precision."

"We are committed to offering our customers a solution that combines class-leading accuracy with actionable results," said Dr. Nur Hasan, CSO of CosmosID. "The clinically informative and actionable unit in microbiology is a strain, not a species. For this reason, our team has invested years of curation into the largest, most comprehensive microbial reference database. The databases structure follows the phylogenetic hierarchy of all represented microorganisms, which enables reliable microbial identification, down to strain-level."

Helping the community to improve and standardize the complex metagenomic workflow is an important part of CosmosID's vision. CSO Dr. Nur Hasan and VP of Products Dr. Arne Materna both serve as expert advisors in an ISO working group defining standards for pathogen sequencing, and the company has a track record of embracing metagenomics challenges. In 2017, CosmosID published an internal benchmark of its cloud based bioinformatics, and co-hosted The Metagenomics MVP Challenge v1.0 with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Association of Biomolecular Research Facilities (ABRF). Most recently, CosmosID contributed to a more standardized metagenomics workflow with an update to its cloud platform enabling researchers to analyze datasets from microbiome standards free of charge. 

"Consistent with our vision, CosmosID is not only addressing the need for accurate and easy to use bioinformatics," said Manoj Dadlani. "We provide customers access to best practices along the entire metagenomic sequencing workflow through our NGS Service Laboratory. We are proud to offer shotgun metagenomics and isolate sequencing services starting at $99 for 3 Million reads per sample and a turnaround time as fast as five days. Our offering leads the microbiome field with best-in-class accuracy and accessible pricing allowing CosmosID customers to sufficiently power their studies."

Manoj Dadlani will speak more about CosmosID software and NGS laboratory services, including CLIA and HIPAA compliance, at today's Microbiome Drug Development Summit in Boston, MA.

About CosmosID
CosmosID®, based in Rockville, Maryland, is a genomics big data company focused on rapid identification of microorganisms for molecular diagnostics, public health, food safety, agriculture, and environmental applications. The CosmosID platform uses proprietary sequence analysis algorithms to accurately profile all microorganisms in a metagenomic sample employing next-generation DNA sequencing. CosmosID was founded in 2008 by Dr. Rita Colwell, former director of the U.S. National Science Foundation and currently Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. To learn more please visit www.cosmosid.com.

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