RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – NoviSystems, a Research Triangle-area company that empowers data-driven decision making, has commercially launched Fusion Analytics, its platform to help hospitals, drug manufacturers and other complex businesses gain answers and insights that can save them time and money.

NoviSystems has assembled a team of senior advisers to help apply Fusion Analytics to one of its top priorities: better diagnosis and treatment of patients with rare diseases.

“The world is awash with diverse data, but there is limited ability to unify and analyze it quickly and easily so that it’s actionable,” said Michael Kowolenko, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer of NoviSystems. “Our Fusion Analytics technology can help businesses ingest and interrogate data from multiple sources and in different formats, allowing them to answer key questions, solve problems, gain operational efficiencies and become more profitable.”

Powerful analytics, simple interface

Fusion Analytics is a proprietary system that uses patented applied natural language processing and machine learning techniques to integrate, filter and analyze disparate numeric and text data sets.

Novi Systems

Annual subscriptions to the platform include hardware, software, training, technical support and consulting.

Designed to be user-friendly, Fusion Analytics presents data graphically in customizable user dashboards. Anyone familiar with a pivot table in Microsoft’s Excel software should be able to apply Fusion Analytics to their organizations, according to NoviSystems.

This relative simplicity of use allows users to obtain actionable knowledge from the power of artificial intelligence without the need for programming, data science or database administration skills.

The company said Fusion Analytics is well suited for complex businesses in health care such as hospitals, biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical manufacturers, and contract research organizations.

Hospitals, for example, can use the platform to improve clinical, operational and financial activities including:

  • Justifying reimbursement for treatment of a rare disease by finding diseases with similar symptoms that have ICD10 codes (used by physicians to classify a patient’s diagnoses, symptoms and procedures) or by finding new treatment protocols described in PubMed, the search engine for accessing references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics.
  • Creating patient dashboards that allow a physician to visualize all data for a patient before an appointment.
  • Viewing all patient data to correlate various diseases with different combinations of lab test values.
  • Analyzing patient populations through electronic medical records.

NC State roots

NoviSystems was spun out of North Carolina State University in 2018 when Kowolenko, a faculty member and director of the university’s Institute for Next Generation IT Systems, saw a need for commercial innovations in data integration and analytics for complex businesses, particularly those that are highly regulated and process oriented, such as drug manufacturing.

His prior experience as a senior vice president for Biogen Idec and Wyeth’s (now Pfizer’s) Biotechnology and Vaccine Division also convinced him that more could be done to accelerate data-informed decision making by bringing together operational data from multiple quality systems. He and his staff at the biopharmaceutical companies needed to aggregate and filter complex data to ensure a continuous supply of safe drug products while demonstrating an overall state of control and compliance with various multinational regulatory requirements.

At NC State, Kowolenko and his team of engineers and developers collaborated on software innovations with IBM; the biopharmaceutical and healthcare industries; and government agencies. One project, funded by a grant from the University of North Carolina System, led to the creation of the Rare Disease InfoHub, an online portal that provides resources to rare disease patients and their caregivers.

Advisers for rare diseases

That project inspired Kowolenko to found NoviSystems and to make rare diseases a top priority for the company. He enlisted a team of senior advisers to guide the application of Fusion Analytics to accelerate better diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases. The advisers are:

  • Charles Hamner, D.V.M., Ph.D., who is the chief bioscience adviser. Hamner had a long career as a scientist, pharmaceutical R&D executive, university medical center leader and president of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. With the emergence of precision medicine, he recognized that artificial intelligence and data analytics would become vital to innovations in the diagnosis, treatment and support of patients with rare genetic diseases and genomic-characterized cancers.
  • Rick Williams, who is acting chief commercial officer and is working with Chief Operating Officer John Bass to bring NoviSystems solutions to biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical  companies, contract research organizations and specialty clinical medicine. Earlier in his career, Williams was head of marketing and health economics at Genentech, which he helped to become one of the first biotech companies to address rare diseases. He later contributed to the development of the commercial outsourcing, cell research, pharmacogenomics and organs-on-chips industries.
  • Sharon King, who is the patient advocacy adviser. King is president of Taylor’s Tale, a Charlotte-based nonprofit organization dedicated to rare disease advocacy and research. She is also an appointed member of the North Carolina Rare Disease Advisory Council, which advises state government leaders.
  • Van Daughtry, who is the community engagement adviser. Daughtry is a past trustee of the Florida-based Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation, a rare-disease nonprofit organization, and a leading business consultant. Since the inception of the Rare Disease InfoHub, leaders in the rare disease community like Daughtry have ensured that academic and commercial Fusion Analytics projects meet the needs of patients and families.

NoviSystems operates as a virtual company with its key executives working in Cary, Raleigh and Chapel Hill.

(C) N.C. Biotech Center