News story

Mapping rare disease and cancer genes: competition winners

Winners from a £10 million competition to help businesses develop new technology to map and analyse genes have been announced today.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Eight companies were successful and will share a total of £1.6 million. The winners will use this funding from phase 1 of the competition to demonstrate the technical feasibility of their innovative proposals or early stage prototypes that will help to treat rare diseases and cancer.

A further £8 million will be made available in phase 2 of the competition to those companies who are judged to have the best products once they have been developed and tested.

The successful companies are:

  • Aridhia Informatics Limited
  • Arkivum Limited
  • Congenica Limited
  • Eagle Genomics Limited
  • Genomics Limited (2 successful bids)
  • Omixon Biocomputing Limited
  • Oxford Gene Technology
  • Seven Bridges Genomics UK Limited

The competition, funded by the Department of Health through the Small Business Research Initiative and managed by Genomics England, supports the efforts to map 100,000 whole genomes (or entire DNA) of NHS patients with cancer or a rare disease by 2017. The products developed as part of this competition will help to play an important part in reaching this goal.

Health Minister Lord Howe said:

I am delighted that the competition I launched in December has produced such a strong set of winners. The involvement of innovative and pioneering companies to help us sequence 100,000 whole genomes of NHS patients with cancer or a rare disease is essential if we are to gain much more understanding into how diseases work and how we can treat them more effectively.

The share of funding these companies will receive from the competition will enable them to develop their products much more quickly and help them grow which will in turn help cancer and rare disease patients who have consented to having their whole genome sequenced.

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Published 2 May 2014