Genome Institute of Singapore and Sengenics Enter Into Partnership for Early Detection of Cancer Cells
29 May 2013 -- The Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and Sengenics today announced a partnership for cancer biomarker discovery with the aim to identify and validate auto-antibodies that can be used to detect early-stage cancers.
The partnership leverages on Sengenics’ strategic partner, Oxford Gene Technology’s (OGT) proprietary proteomics microarray platform- considered to be a world-first, as all the proteins on the microarray are full-length, correctly folded and hence functional. The unique components of the technology will enable researchers to identify auto-antibody interactions in the blood before the cancer reaches an advanced stage.
The initial GIS-Sengenics collaboration will focus on two key cancers this year that are highly prevalent in the region- gastric and breast cancers.
“Given the performance and track record of the OGT protein array technology, we are excited at the potential of discovering both novel and existing biomarkers for these two important cancers,” said Dr Arif Anwar, Executive Director at Sengenics.
Johan Poole-Johnson, Sengenics Commercial Director added, “Our end-goal is to transfer the biomarker signatures identified specific to Singaporean genetic profiles onto a low-cost prognostic test. We envisage to complete the first phase of the project within 12 months.”
GIS Executive Director Prof Ng Huck Hui said, “By combining and cross-correlating the new biomarkers identified with our existing proprietary genomic data, we can potentially develop a new range of powerful oncology prognostic tests specific to the Singaporean population. Early and timely detection of cancers is a key strategy that we are pursuing for our Stratified Oncology programme. We are very pleased to work closely with Sengenics in this partnership.”
As part of the collaboration initiative, Sengenics will establish its research biomarker discovery facility at GIS in 2013.
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About the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS)
The Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) is an institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). It has a global vision that seeks to use genomic sciences to improve public health and public prosperity. Established in 2001 as a centre for genomic discovery, the GIS will pursue the integration of technology, genetics and biology towards the goal of individualized medicine.
The key research areas at the GIS include Systems Biology, Stem Cell & Developmental Biology, Cancer Biology & Pharmacology, Human Genetics, Infectious Diseases, Genomic Technologies, and Computational & Mathematical Biology. The genomics infrastructure at the GIS is utilized to train new scientific talent, to function as a bridge for academic and industrial research, and to explore scientific questions of high impact. www.gis.a-star.edu.sg
About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's lead public sector agency that fosters world-class scientific research and talent to drive economic growth and transform Singapore into a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation driven economy.
In line with its mission-oriented mandate, A*STAR spearheads research and development in fields that are essential to growing Singapore’s manufacturing sector and catalysing new growth industries. A*STAR supports these economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry.
A*STAR oversees 20 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research entities, located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis as well as their vicinity. These two R&D hubs house a bustling and diverse community of local and international research scientists and engineers from A*STAR’s research entities as well as a growing number of corporate laboratories.
Founded in 2008, Sengenics was the 1st company in Asia to offer genomics based research and diagnostics services. Since its inception, Sengenics has focused upon building key research collaborations and diagnostics facilities throughout Asia. The company has an exclusive strategic partnership with Oxford University Professor Sir Edwin Southern’s company, Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) for Asia.
In addition to providing research and diagnostics services, Sengenics continues to develop its own IP and downstream genomics, proteomics and antibody biomarker based tests.
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