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12 February, 2016 - 09:49 By Kate Sweeney

Illumina backs UK-US genomics research play

Illumina’s proposed new building at Granta Park

Illumina, which is scaling up its research capability in Cambridge UK, has formed a partnership with Genomics England to develop a platform and knowledge base that can be used to improve and automate genome interpretation.

The tools will operate within the Genomics England secure database to enable researchers and clinicians to access information and reports more readily.

The bioinformatics play will see the partners develop and deliver systems for clinical interpretation, decision support and knowledge curation for the 100,000 Genomes Project.

The non-exclusive partnership with Illumina will run in parallel with the other clinical interpretation and bioinformatics providers involved in the 100,000 Genomes Project.

Illumina and Genomics England will collaborate to develop a set of informatics tools to support the delivery of genomic clinical and research services at a population scale to the NHS Genomic Medicine Centres and the Genomics England clinical interpretation partners.

All of the tools will include open application programming interfaces so that other bioinformatics solution partners can continue to provide services within the project.

Illumina will develop interpretation and reporting tools to aid the delivery of reports on all genomes sequenced through the 100,000 Genomes Project. Genomics England will provide access to whole genome sequence and de-identified phenotypic data for the development of this suite of tools for personalised medicine.

The tools will be used to curate and manage the knowledge base of information generated over the course of the project with a focus on rare disease and common cancers.

Illumina and Genomics England have agreed to make available the clinical findings arising from the 100,000 Genomes Project to approved users of the tools developed through the collaboration.

The partnership also includes the ability for Genomics England to work with Illumina's other tools, NextBio® and BaseSpace®, for data access and genomic data management.

Illumina will make available to Genomics England researchers and the GENE Consortium part of the 100,000 Genomes dataset as a pilot within NextBio Clinical, which will enable cohort analysis of complex phenotypic and genotypic information from de-identified genomes.

Jay Flatley, Illumina's chairman and CEO, said: “Our partnership with Genomics England will help change the way healthcare is practised. The development of our suite of technologies and platforms is critical to enabling physicians in the future to make educated diagnoses based on a patient's genome which will lead to better health outcomes.”

Photo: Illumina’s proposed new building at Granta Park

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