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UK Providing $9.7M for Tumor Profiling and Data Capture R&D Projects

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The UK's Technology Strategy Board announced it is providing about £6 million ($9.7 million) for R&D projects focused on tumor profiling and data capture.

The funds, announced on Thursday, are being given to projects headed by Affymetrix, Aridhia Informatics, IDBS, Life Technologies, Oxford Gene Technology, and Source BioScience.

The funding is the third from the Technology Strategy Board as part of the Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform (SMIP), a five-year, £60 million personalized medicine initiative by the UK. The Technology Strategy Board is leading the project.

In May, it and the Medical Research Council awarded the first grants totaling about $6 million as part of SMIP. The focus of those grants was in the fields of inflammatory biomarkers for more effective drugs, and business models and value systems.

Other partners in SMIP are England's Department of Health, the Scottish Government Health Directorates, the Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, Cancer Research UK, and Arthritis Research UK.

“Routine comprehensive profiling of tumors upon diagnosis has the potential to open up more effective treatment options and, together with related clinical data, could dramatically increase our understanding of the power of targeted therapies, which could then be applied to drug development," Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said in a statement. "These projects will lead to the development of products or services which can be readily adopted by [National Health Service] commissioners for the improvement of patient outcomes.”

Results from the current round of projects will support the aims of Cancer Research UK's own Stratified Medicines Programme, which aims to test up to 9,000 tumor samples in order to show how molecular diagnosis of NHS patient tumors could be scaled up to provide a national service.

Affymetrix is heading a project called "Developing a robust, reliable multiplex clinical tool for guiding tumor therapy," while Aridhia Informatics' project is titled, "The Dundee Edinburgh cancer informatics programme: Harnessing excellent research."

As reported yesterday by GenomeWeb Daily News, IDBS and its partners have a project called, "Acropolis (Advanced Collaborative Research for Improved Outcomes, Learnings, Insight, and Science," while Life Tech's project is titled, "Next-generation sequencing analysis: A clinical study to implement an innovative cancer care model in the UK, with health and economic benefits."

Also, Oxford Gene Technology is taking the lead on a project, "Development of a fully integrated service for sequencing-based tumor profiling including data interpretation and commercialization of assay panel kit products."

Source BioScience is pursuing a project called, "Tumor mutation profiling using Illumina massively parallel sequencing."