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9 Jun 2011

Source BioScience (LSE: SBS), in partnership with Barts Cancer Institute and Illumina Inc., is collaborating to develop a novel approach to cancer diagnosis and personalised treatment for patients. The collaboration has won a grant of £0.5m through the Technology Strategy Board’s ‘Tumour Profiling and Data Capture to Improve Cancer Care’ funding competition.

The aim is to create an integrated genetic test that characterises cancer tumours at the molecular level to improve diagnosis and treatment outcomes for patients.

This collaboration will use the most advanced DNA analysis technology from Illumina, the global leader in next generation gene sequencing technology, to genetically profile cancers and build a bank of information on every tumour type. The Barts Cancer Institute will provide the samples of material from their tissue bank. Source BioScience, the UK’s leading DNA analysis and diagnostics company, will develop the integrated diagnostic test which will indicate the most effective treatment options for each patient.

Dr Cliff Murray Head of Research and Development at Source BioScience said “This is the first time that experts in DNA analysis, cancer research and diagnostic development have joined forces to tackle cancer diagnosis at the genetic level. Our aim is to make tumour genetic analysis a routine part of diagnosis and treatment. We believe it will significantly change health economics and push personalised medicine into the forefront of cancer treatment.”

Whilst there are a variety of pathology tests for the assessment of patients to monitor their response to specific drugs, the current methods are costly, complex, time-consuming, and not commonly available to clinicians.

Prof Lemoine, Director Barts Cancer Institute added, “On behalf of the Barts Cancer Institute I am really excited to be working with two market leaders on the Stratified Medicine programme. The advent of targeted therapies now requires the development of technology that can be applied in routine health service laboratories to make personalised medicine a reality for all patients. Our combined strengths mean that we are well placed to deliver a next-generation solution.”

Richard Henfrey, Associate Director, Regional Marketing Europe, Illumina concluded, “Illumina is thrilled to be involved with this important project together with Source BioScience and Barts Cancer Institute and we are excited that our market leading and proven next generation sequencing technology has been chosen for the project. Both our high-throughput HiSeq and the new MiSeq platforms will be used. Illumina is committed to improving human health by enabling researchers to accelerate the collection, analysis and application of genetic information and this project is a perfect example.”

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