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Genomics England, Genome BC Sign MOU

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Genome British Columbia and Genomics England today announced a memorandum of understanding for an initiative to improve the ability to diagnose patients with cancer and rare and infectious diseases and to better their outcomes.

Under the terms of the agreement, the partners will start the first phase by building expert working groups to generate and assess candidate projects as well as harmonize data sharing tools and processes. They will also establish cross-institutional teams addressing the mutually identified priorities: bioinformatics, cancer, and rare and infectious diseases.

In the second phase, slated for 2016, the partners will launch pilot projects in the priority areas.

The partnership will "catalyze the development of new genomic cohorts that will ultimately drive change in healthcare systems," Genome BC President and CEO Alan Winter said in a statement.

Genomics England Chief Scientist Mark Caulfield added that the partnership will draw on experience gained in the UK's 100,000 Genomes Project and will extend that knowledge to healthcare systems in British Columbia.

In June, Genomics England chose four firms and established a partnership to interpret data from the 100,000 Genomes Project.