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Genome BC Announces C$10M to Study Clinical Genomics Implementation

NEW YORK – Genome British Columbia announced Monday C$10 million (US$7.5 million) to fund studies of the effectiveness of genomics in healthcare.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia, led by Anna Lehman of the Department of Medical Genetics, received C$8.1 million to evaluate the feasibility of integrating whole-genome sequencing into the standard of care for rare disease patients.

And researchers at BC Cancer, Simon Fraser University, and Queen's University received C$2.5 million to study the economic impact of precision oncology and ensure that initiatives in that area are in line with Canadian laws, regulations, and public values.

"These projects are helping develop a better understanding of the value genomics can bring to clinical health care — not only from the perspective of clinical and cost effectiveness, but also the value patients place on these services," Sally Greenwood, Genome BC VP of communications and societal engagement, said in a statement.

Evidence from these projects "will provide the policy guidance needed to enable a responsible, fact-based implementation," Genome BC CEO and President Pascal Spothelfer added

The funding is part of an announcement by Genome Canada that it has awarded C$14.7 million to 11 total genomics research projects across the country.  Those awards will be joined by C$29.7 million from provincial governments, businesses, and research partners, for a total of C$44.4 million to support projects in the areas of health, agriculture, and the environment, Genome Canada said in a statement.

Genome BC and Genome Canada teamed up in January to fund a multi-omics study of the foodborne pathogen Campylobacter. In 2018, Genome Canada committed C$255 million to fund initiatives in precision medicine and genomic technology.