Oxford, UK – 24 July 2012 – Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), provider of innovative clinical genetics and diagnostic solutions to advance molecular medicine, announced today that its next generation sequencing service team has been awarded two EU- funded clinical research grants worth €3 million. OGT will be providing genomic analysis and commercialisation services for two key international studies, EUCLIDS and PATHSEEK.
EUCLIDS (EU Life-threatening Infectious Disease Study), is a 5-year, large-scale study to identify genomic variants that determine susceptibility to and severity of life-threatening bacterial infections in children, including meningococcal and pneumococcal cohorts. OGT has been awarded a grant of €1.1 million to perform high-throughput genomic analysis for the study, including whole exome sequencing, RNA sequencing, methylation analysis and microRNA analysis. OGT is part of an international consortium of 14 institutions in 6 countries, led by Professor Michael Levin at Imperial College, London.
As leaders in targeted sequencing, OGT has also been awarded €1.9 million to design sequence enrichment methods and compare sequencing platforms for the PATHSEEK project. PATHSEEK is a 3-year study led by Professor Judy Breuer at University College London, which will demonstrate the potential of next generation sequencing technologies in clinical microbiology labs, to enable the detection of pathogens directly from clinical samples and the early detection of drug resistant mutations. The study will look at infections with clear unmet clinical need or which pose a global risk factor, including, HIV, mycobacterium tuberculosis, hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) and influenza A. PATHSEEK will also investigate two host pharmacogenomics biomarkers which predict response to therapy for HCV and HIV. OGT have the rights to commercialise the final assay enrichment and sequencing panels for sale to clinical microbiology labs, strengthening its existing portfolio of clinical genomics products and services.
James Clough, Vice President Clinical and Genomic Solutions at OGT, said: “The EUCLIDS and PATHSEEK studies are prestigious, international studies, and we are proud to be involved in them. We see the invitation to participate and the award of these grants as validation and recognition of the superior quality of our high-throughput genomic analysis capabilities and our exceptional data analysis expertise.
“Next generation sequencing is starting to play a major role in drug discovery and healthcare management. It is exciting for OGT to be playing important roles within these EUCLIDS and PATHSEEK studies to discover new methods, at the molecular level, with which to tackle these difficult to treat diseases.”
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About Oxford Gene Technology
Founded by Professor Ed Southern, Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) provides innovative clinical genetics and diagnostic solutions to advance molecular medicine. The company has two trading businesses, Biomarker Discovery and Clinical & Genomic Solutions. Biomarker Discovery: OGT delivers tailored biomarker discovery solutions that optimise drug and diagnostic development programmes. With expertise in genomic and proteomic diagnostic biomarkers, OGT provides highly specific customised biomarker panels for cancer and other diseases, both for direct sale and also for collaboration with partner companies. Clinical & Genomic Solutions: OGT’s Genefficiency™ is a unique combination of world-leading platforms, people, processing power and performance synchronised to deliver rapid, high-quality genomic data to customers worldwide. OGT’s CytoSure™ cytogenetics array, labelling and interpretation software products and services provide a complete solution for the detection of chromosomal abnormalities. Together, Genefficiency and CytoSure offer a unique, standardised and integrated solution for cytogenetics research.
For more information on the Company, please visit our website at: www.ogt.co.uk
CytoSure: For research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
Bacterial infection is a major cause of death in young children, accounting for over a quarter of all child deaths globally. Death from bacterial infection in children has persisted despite the availability of antimicrobial agents and childhood vaccines highlighting the need for a better understanding of the inflammatory response to infection, novel treatments of acute infection, new methods to identify those at risk, and better preventative strategies. There is clear evidence that genetic factors are major determinants of both the susceptibility and the outcome of infectious diseases. Identification of the genes responsible, and the biological processes they control, is likely to be a powerful method to understand the immunopathogenesis of childhood infection, and for identifying those in the population who are at risk of infection or poor outcome, thus enabling the development of new treatment and preventative strategies.
The Childhood Life-threatening Infectious Disease Study (EUCLIDS) is a 5-year FP7 project funded by the European Union (GA #279182). The project comprises a large-scale genomic study to identify the genes, and biological pathways they control, which determine susceptibility and severity in life-threatening bacterial infections of childhood in Europe and globally. Meningococcal disease will be used as the prototypic model to develop an integrated staged approach to identify the genetic basis of both susceptibility to infection and severity of disease in those affected. This model will then be applied to the other major bacterial infections of childhood. For more information, visit www.euclids-project.eu.
Sequencing platforms in diagnostic laboratories may aid both patient management by detecting resistance associated mutations, and public health measures, by determining phylogenetic relationships between infections from different patients. Current platforms are limited by the timeframe required for generating a result and by the limited sequence information provided on pathogens. To overcome these limitations PATHSEEK, a 36-month project, proposes to set up a disruptive diagnostic technological pathogen sequencing platform that will deliver all possible drug resistance mutations as well as data on nosocomial infection, from one patient sample in one single assay.
The PATHSEEK platform will open up a new era in clinical diagnosis and patient management by delivering all the results needed to provide personalised treatment. The rapid delivery of results will ensure early, appropriate therapy thereby helping to reduce the development of drug resistance and minimising unnecessary, extra medical expense from the use of inappropriate drugs. PATHSEEK is an EC FP7 funded project, under the theme HEALTH.2012.2.3.0-1, grant number 304875.