NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A team of industry players and clinical researchers today announced a collaboration to develop a platform for using frozen formalin paraffin-embedded tissue for molecular diagnostics.
The project, which has a budget of $5 million — half of which will be funded by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation — involves CLC bio, Aros Applied Biotechnology, F. Hoffman-La Roche, and Aarhus University Hospital – the Institute of Pathology and the Research Unit for Molecular Medicine.
The goal is to develop a complete platform for selecting FFPE samples, choosing sequencing technology, and then assembling and analyzing the high-throughput sequencing data, the partners said in a statement.
In addition to the development of molecular diagnostics, the platform will be used to reanalyze pre-clinical trials for drugs that have failed despite achieving relatively high rates of positive responses.
According to the partners, getting high-quality fresh samples is a challenge to both academia and pharmaceutical firms. The proposed platform will provide researchers access to "vastly more samples" than can be collected in traditional fresh tissue biobanks. The samples can be linked to patient data through healthcare, disease, and population registries, "providing unique opportunities to boost research in disease mechanisms and rescue drugs from failure," they said.
"Having access to high-throughput genomic analyses of the vast number of existing archive FFPE samples will be an invaluable contribution" to being able to compare diseased tissue to a broad range of control samples, thereby facilitating personalized medicine, said Stephen Hamilton Dutoit, a professor at the Institute of Pathology at Aarhus University Hospital.