OXFORD, United Kingdom—Analysis company Genomics plc has announced the establishment of a collaboration agreement with Oxford University and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for a research project centered on the translation of whole-genome sequencing into clinical practice. The undertaking will focus on the goal of establishing genome sequencing as a clinical tool for a wide range of disorders, including cancer and rare diseases, and support the NHS by developing new tools to help clinicians and better patient outcomes. In addition, this work will serve as a pilot study for other national-scale programs meant to integrate genomics with healthcare. No financial details were disclosed.
“We are excited to be working with these leading centers in the rapidly growing area of genomic analysis,” John Colenutt, CEO of Genomics plc, said in a press release. “The project provides us with the opportunity to apply our data analysis solutions to analyze genomes at scale and in a clinical context and to demonstrate the real value that analyses of large genomic databases can add to research programs such as this.”
“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,” added Associate Prof. Jenny Taylor, program director and principal investigator for the study at the University of Oxford.
Under the agreement, Genomics will apply its bioinformatics tools to analyze and interpret up to 500 genome sequences focusing on rare diseases and cancer. Genomics' analytical platform unites proprietary algorithms and software with experience in mining data within large genomic databases to identify relationships between genetic variations and human disease.
“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,” Prof. Keith Channon, director of the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and director of Research at the OUH NHS Foundation Trust, commented in a statement. “This agreement with Genomics plc has the potential to further support Oxford's local clinical genome sequencing programs as well its contribution to the national 100,000 genomes program following its designation as an NHS England Genomic Medicine Centre."
This is the second agreement for Genomics so far this month, with the first announced on October 1. Genomics began a collaboration agreement with Biogen aimed at refining drug target selection via the sophisticated analysis of human genetic data. Biogen will make use of findings from Genomics' analytical tools, which will be used to inform drug research and development decisions and answer questions about the potential safety and efficacy of intended drug targets.