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UK Department of Health Announces SBRI Genomics Grant Winners

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The UK Department of Health has announced the eight winners of the first round of a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition that’s focused on developing technologies for analyzing and interpreting sequence data for the 100K Genomes Project.

The companies awarded grants include Aridhia Informatics; Arkivum, Congenica; Eagle Genomics; Genomics Limited; Omixon Biocomputing; Oxford Gene Technology; and Seven Bridges Genomics. These companies will share the £1.6 million ($2.7 million) allocated for the first six-month phase. The exact amount each company received was not disclosed, but according to the competition's organizers selected development contracts will be eligible to receive up to £200,000 ($337,000).

"The share of funding these companies will receive from the competition will enable them to develop their products much more quickly and help them grow, which will in turn help cancer and rare disease patients who have consented to having their whole genome sequenced," Lord Earl Howe, the UK's parliamentary under secretary of state for quality, noted in a statement.

The Department of Health is funding the two-phase competition — which is managed by Genomics England —and is investing up to £10 million ($16.9 million). In the next round, a further £8 million ($13.5 million) will be made available to those companies who are judged to have the best products from the first round.