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Sanger Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus Open New Sequencing, Biodata Centers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute opened two new buildings this week: a genome sequencing and genomics building called the Bridget Ogilvie Building, and the £42 million ($52.2 million) Biodata Innovation Centre at the Wellcome Genome Campus.

"The new buildings mark the next major step in the progression of our vision for this Campus as a global hub for genomics and biodata," Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Director and Wellcome Genome Campus CEO Michael Stratton, said in a statement. "We have an ambition to translate and commercialize research findings, as well as inform and enable the [National Health Service] to integrate genomics into clinical care."

British Prime Minister Theresa May was on hand with other stakeholders to open the buildings on Monday. In a statement, May said the buildings "represent cutting edge British science and business in the modern era," adding, "We want the UK to be the 'go to' place for scientists, innovators, businesses and investors. This really is a very good example of that."

The sequencing facility at the Bridget Ogilvie Building is expected to specialize in everything from human to pathogen genomes. It will reportedly produce genome sequences for the Genomics England 100,000 Genomes Project, along with clinical sequences generated through the NHS in the context of genomic medicine.

The Biodata Innovation Centre, meanwhile, will foster genomic start-up companies stemming from research by local academics and international investigators and companies with a genomic focus. The Centre currently includes collaborations between scientists from the UK and companies originating in the US, Asia, and Europe.

"The Campus is home to research institutes, spin-out and start-up companies, academic-industry partnerships and Genomics England, all dedicated to driving and leading pioneering research and innovation and discourse in the sphere of genomes and biodata," Stratton said. 

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