Nominated by King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)
Algorizm is a start-up company committed to providing convenient pathogen DNA sequencing service to the Saudi medical centers in order to enable them to quickly and accurately characterise genomic signatures of harmful microbes present in patient samples. Using state-of-the-art deep sequencing techniques and novel bioinformatics analyses, Algorizm aims to help hospitals, companies, and government organisations identify which microorganisms live in their patient samples or biological products. Their goal is to build up a comprehensive database of microbes within the Middle East designed to improve health services. This would allow faster and accurate clinical diagnostic method for infections.
By taking a sample of any patient with an unknown infection, the genetic information can be extracted and helps to identify causes and appropriate medication. This information will be collected in a database, designed to improve the understanding of the Saudi microbiome. The ability to distinguish between good microbes and pathogens will help improve health services and control epidemics, use the information of the microbes for commercial purposes and provide information to pharmaceutical companies like producers of vaccines.
According to the company, this idea is novel in the Middle East and uttermost important to tackle the phenomenon of infections spreading without correct diagnostic information or identification of the microbial community. Currently, when doctors need genetic sequencing service, they have to send their patient samples to international laboratories in Europe and wait up to two months for results. In the future, Algorizm aims to provide these services locally and thus get results faster and cheaper.