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Google Cloud to supercharge data processing and analysis to cut analysis turnaround time

Cloud infrastructure will be used to bolster Microba’s advanced gut microbiome research, harnessing biotechnology to offer more to customers worldwide.

Microba, Australia’s leading biotech company in microbiome science and testing, has turned to hyperscale computing from Google Cloud to power its research into the gut microbiome and improve the lives of customers worldwide. The collaboration combines Microba’s expert scientific knowledge and Google Cloud’s analytics and machine learning capabilities, supported by implementation expertise from Google Cloud Partner Max Kelsen.

Each person’s gut microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms requiring a powerful data analytics service to produce a Microba Insight™ Report. With Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microba has an advanced and secure data infrastructure to store, process, explore, and share large, complex datasets, with the aim to reduce bioinformatic analysis time to support customers.

As gut microbiome testing becomes more a common consideration, Microba’s laboratory and researchers are part of the innovative worldwide microbiome research initiative, which has the potential to revolutionise the way we prevent and treat many common health conditions. Since the first product launch in July 2018, Microba Insight™ Sampling Kit, Microba has delivered over 3,000 Microba Insight™ results to help customers understand their microbiome and improve their health. The samples received back to the lab are already yielding interesting and scientifically significant results.

With the increasing demand for gut microbiome testing, Australia is leading the way with homegrown biotech pioneer Microba, one of the first companies worldwide to offer gut microbiome profiles using advanced DNA metagenomic sequencing. Microba’s bioinformaticians and scientists are at the forefront of this innovation, creating new and state-of-the-art methods of testing to capture the highest-resolution view, deliver comprehensive analysis and accurate results. This is driving the need for massive data analytics capabilities, storage and security.

Microba is working to create a community of greater health, built on leading scientific research. Microba’s data intensive Metagenomic Analysis Platform (MAP) requires a robust, cloud infrastructure solution to securely analyse massive datasets in real-time and scale up rapidly on demand.

Google BigQuery also enables Microba to analyse terabytes of structured data and search thousands of genomic sequences, and structure all of it in the cloud to deliver customer insights. This would otherwise be outside the realm of normal database management systems.

Blake Wills, Chief Executive Officer of Microba said, “This collaboration reflects Microba’s strategy to expand our MAP capabilities, both domestically and internationally in the microbiome research and biotechnology fields. Our work with Google Cloud and Max Kelsen sees us bringing the best cloud engineering talent together to optimise our use of Google Cloud services. This is an exciting addition to our already successful entry into the commercial world.”

“The migration of our bioinformatic pipelines to Google Cloud will enable us to spend less time designing architectures and IT infrastructure for daily operations and focus on optimising and developing new features for research, and further strengthening our value for customers.”

Colin Timm, ANZ Country Director of Google Cloud said, “If there’s one thing the life sciences field isn’t lacking, it’s data. With Google Cloud Platform, Microba not only has the easy-to-use and cost-effective technology to analyse and make sense of it all, but a robust and scalable technology infrastructure that can support and grow with them as they grow.”

As knowledge of the complexity and functionality of the gut microbiome is evolving, Microba is working to discover, develop diagnostics and deliver biotherapeutic breakthroughs to improve the lives of people suffering gut health issues, intestinal diseases and inform other significant health conditions. Microba has established the Future Insights Program to build a deeper understanding of the human microbiome to drive innovation in healthcare. Working to discover new correlations between microorganisms and health and the affect diet and lifestyle can have on populations of microorganisms in the gut.

Mr. Wills said, “We hope that by furthering our knowledge of the gut microbiome, we will be able to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals. This collaboration allows all parties involved to contribute to this vision.”

Read more about Microba and Google Cloud in this case study.