Genomics plc Signs Collaboration Agreement with Oxford University and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
Genomics’ proprietary bioinformatics tools will be used to analyse and interpret up to 500 genome sequences focusing on rare diseases and cancer.
Oxford, UK, 19 October 2015: Genomics plc (“Genomics”), a leading analysis company developing algorithms and software solutions to uncover the relationships between genetic variation and human disease, today announced that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Oxford University and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in a research project focused on the translation of whole genome sequencing into clinical practice.
The project, which is supported by the Wellcome Trust and Department of Health through the Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) Fund, aims to establish genome sequencing as a clinical tool across a wide range of disorders, including rare diseases and cancers. This will directly benefit the NHS in establishing new tools to aid clinicians and improve patient outcomes. The study will also serve as a pilot for other national scale programmes to integrate genomics and healthcare. As part of the agreement, Genomics’ bioinformatics tools will be applied to analyse and interpret up to 500 genome sequences focusing on rare diseases and cancer.
Technological developments in gene sequencing have resulted in a significant increase in the amount of genomic data available to researchers. However, making sense of this data is proving a bottleneck in the translation of genomic information into clinical care. Genomics has developed a unique analytical platform for genomic sequence data analysis and interpretation. The platform combines proprietary algorithms and software with the Company’s expertise in data mining of large genomic databases to uncover the relationships between genetic variation and human disease.
John Colenutt, CEO at Genomics plc, said: “We are excited to be working with these leading centres in the rapidly-growing area of genomic analysis. The project provides us with the opportunity to apply our data analysis solutions to analyse genomes at scale and in a clinical context and to demonstrate the real value that analyses of large genomic databases can add to research programmes such as this”.
Assoc. Professor Jenny Taylor, Programme Director and Principal Investigator for the study at the University of Oxford, said: “This collaboration agreement has great potential to bring genome sequencing closer to routine clinical practice. The depth of expertise and time needed to provide accurate interpretation of whole genome information is a real barrier to its widespread acceptance. We are excited to explore Genomics’ tools for automated and flexible analysis and look forward to working alongside them to drive the development of tools that are fit for widespread deployment.”
Trust Director of Research & Development and NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre Director Professor Keith Channon said: “Oxford has internationally renowned expertise in using genome sequencing to aid clinical diagnoses and disease gene discovery, following the WGS500 study and investment by the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and University of Oxford. This agreement with Genomics plc has the potential to further support Oxford’s local clinical genome sequencing programmes as well its contribution to the 100,000 Genomes Project following its designation as an NHS England Genomic Medicine Centre.”
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About Genomics plc http://www.genomicsplc.com/
Genomics was founded by four leading Oxford academics, including Professor Peter Donnelly, Director of The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, and Professor Gil McVean, Director of The Big Data Institute. The Company has developed a unique platform for genomic sequence data analysis and interpretation which combines world-leading expertise in statistical analysis and data mining with a unique integrated database linking genotypes and phenotypes. Genomics England, the company running the UK project to undertake whole genome sequencing of 100,000 patients in the National Health Service, has appointed Genomics plc as a Platform Provider and has also awarded the Company three SBRI grants. Genomics plc is also working with three major pharmaceutical companies to bring the benefits of genomic analysis to their drug development processes. The Company is supported by major investors, including IP Group, Invesco Perpetual, Woodford Investment Management and Lansdowne Partners.
About the Health Innovation Challenge Fund www.hicfund.org.uk
The Health Innovation Challenge Fund is a parallel funding partnership between the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health to stimulate the creation of innovative healthcare products, technologies and interventions and to facilitate their development for the benefit of patients in the NHS and beyond.
About the Wellcome Trust www.wellcome.ac.uk
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We provide more than £700 million a year to support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine. Our £18 billion investment portfolio gives us the independence to support such transformative work as the sequencing and understanding of the human genome, research that established front-line drugs for malaria, and Wellcome Collection, our free venue for the incurably curious that explores medicine, life and art.
About the Department of Health www.dh.gov.uk
The Department of Health (DH) helps people to live better for longer. The Department leads, shapes and funds health and care in England, making sure people have the support, care and treatment they need, with the compassion, respect and dignity they deserve. The Department funds health research and encourages the use of new technologies because it’s important to the development of new, more effective treatments for NHS patients. Innovation is needed so that decisions about health and care are based on the best and latest evidence.
About Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division http://www.ox.ac.uk
Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division is one of the largest biomedical research centres in Europe, with over 2,500 people involved in research and more than 2,800 students. From the genetic and molecular basis of disease to the latest advances in neuroscience, Oxford is at the forefront of medical research. It has one of the largest clinical trial portfolios in the UK and great expertise in taking discoveries from the lab into the clinic. Partnerships with the local NHS Trusts enable patients to benefit from close links between medical research and healthcare delivery.
About the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre http://oxfordbrc.nihr.ac.uk/
The NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, and is a partnership between the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Oxford. The NIHR provides the NHS with the support and infrastructure it needs to conduct first-class research funded by the Government and its partners alongside high-quality patient care, education and training. Its aim is to support outstanding individuals (both leaders and collaborators), working in world class facilities (both NHS and university), and conducting leading edge research focused on the needs of patients.
About the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust www.ouh.nhs.uk.
The Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) is one of the largest acute teaching trusts in the UK, with a national and international reputation for the excellence of its services and its role in patient care, teaching and research. The Trust supports world-leading research programmes in cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s through its designation as one of the UK’s five comprehensive biomedical centres and units. It works in close partnership with the University of Oxford and is a leading centre for cancer, neurosciences, diabetes, genetics and many other fields. Research themes of particular strength are: cancer, cardiovascular science, diabetes, endocrinology & metabolism, infection and immunology, musculoskeletal science, neuroscience and reproduction and development. As of October 1 2015, the Trust was awarded Foundation Trust status. This decision comes after the Care Quality Commission gave OUH an overall rating of ‘Good’ in May 2014, and after scrutiny of the Trust’s quality, finances, service delivery and governance arrangements by the NHS Trust Development Authority and Monitor. The Trust has been designated as a major trauma centre and is one of four UK centres for craniofacial surgery and The Trust employs over 12,000 staff and consists of four hospitals: the Churchill Hospital, John Radcliffe Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.