Granada and Madrid, Spain and Philadelphia, PA, U.S., February 6, 2012 – Integromics(R), a market leader in IT solutions provision for life sciences in the field of genomics and proteomics, today announces it has entered into a partnership with Professor Carracedo and his team at the Galician Foundation of Genomic Medicine (FPGMX), a recipient of the European Life Technologies ‘Ion Torrent Visionary Winners Award’, for the development of inexpensive solutions for clinical genomics.
Based on the strength of its R&D work, the new partnership has been awarded a EUR one million grant from the European Regional Development Fund and the Spanish Government for a project entitled ‘Advanced analysis and interpretation of low-cost next generation sequencing data for clinical applications (ApliClinics LC-NGS).
The interpretation of next generation sequencing (NGS) data has been recognized as a major bottleneck in the adoption of personalized medicine, both in terms of cost and time. The ApliClinics collaboration has been designed to address the issues, at the bench and bioinformatics levels, being faced by the clinical labs trying to apply NGS technology. The project aims to improve procedures and optimize tools to make the use of NGS faster in the routine healthcare environment, which will alleviate the current lack of applications critically needed by clinicians, as well as helping to lessen their workload.
The ApliClinics project opens a new field of application for Integromics and represents an ideal opportunity for the company to reinforce its commitment to the development of software solutions for personalized medicine.
“This will be the first time that Integromics will be working side-by-side with clinicians to bridge the gap between our NGS technology and how it translates into healthcare for patients,” said Eduardo González Couto, chief strategy officer, Integromics. “The synergy of the clinical genomic pioneers from the FPGMX and the expertise of the bioinformaticians we have at Integromics will undoubtedly help to accelerate the development of solutions for clinical genomics.
“Automated next generation sequencers have increased the speed and reduced the cost of sequencing, making it possible to offer genetic testing to consumers. Producing the genomic data is no longer a problem, however, it is the analysis and interpretation of the data which has become the ‘new frontier’. In order to characterize and interpret the data for medical usage, novel bioinformatics tools are crucially needed.”
As Kevin Davies discussed in his essay ‘The USD 100,000 Genome Interpretation’, as the cost of sequencing continues to freefall it has become cheaper and faster for clinical genome labs to sequence a full exome of a patient instead of a panel of individual genes. However, there are neither enough bioinformaticians nor enough prepared healthcare professionals to analyse the large sets of genes in a genome or exome.
Even the professionals that can interpret genomic data would require weeks or months to analyse the data of one patient. In one of the most comprehensive clinical genome analysis (reported by Ashley et al., Lancet 2010; 375; 1525-35) the task of interpreting one genome involved more than 20 collaborators.
"The interest of the group, in addition to genomic research, is the practical translation of next generation sequencing to clinical routine casework,” said Professor Angel Carracedo, director of the FPGMX. “For this reason this project is essential for us. In this moment the bottleneck is not data production but to have bioinformatic tools allowing us to obtain reliable and accurate information of the variation found after DNA sequencing using NGS facilities, which is the main objective of this project."
Against this setting, and as NGS develops for specific cases in a broader clinical setting, it is hoped that the findings of the ApliClinics project, in terms of software and lab procedures, will bring low cost NGS technology closer to a clinical reality.
Integromics will be looking to announce the first results of the ApliClinics project in quarter four 2012.
About Integromics(R) S.L
INTEGROMICS, S.L. provides IT solutions for life sciences in the areas of genomics and proteomics. In the post-genomic era, Integromics S.L. offers state-of-the-art products, services and training in two strategic areas: data management/integration and intelligent data analysis. The company has developed a network of collaborators both in industry and academia to provide complete technological solutions that will help its clients to achieve their goals. Integromics(R) S.L. was founded in 2002 and is based in Granada, Spain, with offices in Madrid, Spain. Integromics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary that was established in 2007 is based Philadelphia, PA. For more information, visit http://www.integromics.com
About the Galician Foundation of Genomic Medicine (FPGMX)
The group of genomic medicine at the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) is a joint venture of researchers from the population and forensic genetic group of the USC and researchers from the Galician Foundation of Genomic Medicine. This is a support organization of the health service of Galicia (SERGAS) offering a clinical genetics service to all hospitals in the SERGAS network, comprising three and a half million inhabitants and attending more than 25,000 patients each year. FPGMX is one of the foremost clinical genetics support organizations in Spain, offering one of the highest volumes of throughput and one of the most extensive arrays of molecular diagnostic tests for inherited diseases. The group led by Professor Ángel Carracedo is composed of a total of 92 people including technical staff and is equipped with different high-throughput genotyping platforms: Affymetrix(R), Sequenom(R) MALDI-TOF MS and Taqman(R). The group integrates the sequencing and expression platforms of the USC with a next generation sequencing facility including an Ion Torrent(R) awarded by Life Technologies(R).
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