Oxford Gene Technology Awarded £1.2m Genomics England Contract
News Mar 16, 2015
Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), has been awarded a £1.2m phase two Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare contract. The contract is to develop Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) analysis software, following the successful completion of phase one and an evaluation by Genomics England, UK Department of Health and Innovate UK.
Development of this innovative technology will increase the accuracy and ease of interpreting whole genome genetic variant data by clinicians, supporting more precise treatment decisions. In addition to the analysis of NGS data, the software will integrate a full spectrum of genetic tests, including NGS, Sanger sequencing, microarray and fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH). The results of these tests will be put in context via the use of both public and private databases, providing the clinician with prioritised clinically-relevant results. These easy-to-understand reports will support faster diagnosis and better patient care.
The SBRI contract is managed by Genomics England, to support the implementation of the 100,000 Genomes Project. This flagship project will sequence 100,000 whole genomes from NHS patients by 2017, producing invaluable data to enable scientific discovery and personalise patient treatment. Although the time and cost of sequencing has reduced dramatically, interpretation is currently a major bottleneck. OGT will use the SBRI funding and its considerable experience in genomic data analysis to enable the use of the 100,000 Genomes Project data by clinicians.
OGT was awarded £200k to develop the software in July 2014 during phase one of the initiative. The selection process for phase two involved an assessment of potential patient impact, technological step change and a route to commercialisation, proving OGT as a leader in the field of genomic data interpretation.
James Clough, Executive Vice President Commercial, OGT said: “The award of this £1.2m contract underlines OGT’s position as a leading developer of cutting-edge products for molecular genetics. OGT has customers in over 60 countries worldwide and will use its extensive sales and marketing infrastructure to successfully commercialise the resulting product.”
Professor Tim Hubbard, Head of Genome Analysis at Genomics England commented, “For widespread use of genome sequencing in routine health care the development of accurate and reliable interpretation software is critical. We are encouraged to see new and existing companies developing products and services in this space.”
Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University say neural networks and supervised machine learning techniques can efficiently characterize cells that have been studied using single cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq). This finding could help researchers identify new cell subtypes and differentiate between healthy and diseased cells.