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Genomics England Chooses 10 Firms for Next Evaluation Stage of UK's 100,000 Genomes Project

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Genomics England, which is heading the UK's 100,000 Genomes Project, today named 10 firms it has selected to continue to the next assessment phase of the project.

The companies are Congenica; Diploid; NantOmics; Genomics Ltd.; Illumina; Qiagen; Lockheed Martin; NextCode Health; Omicia; and Personalis. Each company will move on to the next stage of the selection process as Genomics England evaluates genomic service providers for the 100,000 Genomes Project.

As part of the recently completed stage, Genomics England in February sent out a questionnaire to 28 participants in relation to 10 cancer/normal samples and 15 rare disease trio samples. The company received 16 clinical interpretation reports as part of the rare disease analysis and 19 reports as part of the cancer analysis. A dozen participants also returned refined alignments and variant reports.

A team lead by Tim Hubbard, a professor at King's College, London, and the head of bioinformatics for Genomics England, evaluated the responses. As the project moves ahead, the capabilities of genomics service providers will continue to be evaluated and there could be additional opportunities for other providers to be chosen for the project, Genomics England said.

"The first assessment was extremely useful in determining the current capabilities of potential service providers," Hubbard said in a statement. "We anticipate continuous improvements in interpretation ability and will, therefore, be evaluating new and revised services throughout the 100,000 Genomes Project."

The project was launched in late 2012 and seeks to sequence 100,000 whole genomes by 2017. Information gleaned from the effort could potentially be used to treat patients and to further research into diseases such as cancer.