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Oxford & Oracle Cloud System Collaborates To Identify Covid-19 Variants Faster

Oxford & Oracle Cloud System Collaborates To Identify Covid-19 Variants Faster

The University of Oxford and Oracle’s Global Pathogen Analysis System (GPAS) is now being used by organisations to identify the fast spread of the highly infectious Delta variant and other COVID-19 mutations.  

Built using Oxford’s Scalable Pathogen Pipeline Platform (SP3), Oracle APEX, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), the Global Pathogen Analysis System is a cloud platform that provides a unified, standardised system for analysing and comparing the annotated genomic sequence data of SARS-CoV-2.

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Researchers are using the system to upload pathogen data and receive comprehensive results within minutes. With user permission, the results may be shared with participating laboratories around the globe in a secure environment. 

Making this data comprehensible and shareable will help public health authorities evaluate and plan their response by giving them invaluable insight into emerging variants even before they are officially designated as Variants of Concern.

“GPAS is the first industry standards-based service anywhere in the world, offering a standardised sequence data analysis service for users on the cloud,” said Derrick Crook, professor of microbiology in the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine. 

Oracle Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison said, “With GPAS, we are bringing the power and security of the cloud to enable any researcher, in any location, to become part of the solution. The more data medical institutions, governments, and academics provide, the more quickly we can understand and act to get ahead of the coronavirus”.

“This platform promises to bring together data much more rapidly, helping us to better understand and get ahead of the patterns of spread faster, so governments can make better policy decisions and mitigate the devastating impact this virus continues to inflict in their own countries and across the globe,” said Tony Blair, Executive Chairman of TBI and former UK Prime Minister. 

As part of their work with the Global Health Security Consortium (GHSC), the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine (Ellison Institute) and the Tony Blair Institute (TBI) for Global Change have worked in coordination with Oxford and Oracle to support the development of the platform and to get it in the hands of global researchers.

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Using the platform, researchers and governments will be able to quickly access the timely, relevant data they need to make up-to-date scientific analyses and better-informed policy and safety decisions regarding new variants. 

To know more about the initiative or to get involved, please visit

Institutions using the platform include the University of Montreal Hospital Centre Research Centre, the Institute of Public Health Research of Chile, the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam, the Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research – New South Wales Pathology, and Oxford Nanopore Technologies. GPAS is also now part of the Public Health England New Variant Assessment Platform.

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