Genomics - the study of all of a person’s genes - has the potential to revolutionise healthcare and could lead to many new cancer treatments.
Commercial applications of genomics to cancer are expected to make up a significant part of the predicted annual $22 billion global market for genomics by 2024.
The UK has already developed the largest, high-quality whole genome database in the world through the 100,000 Genomes Project.
A public-private collaboration is investing £200 million to complete the whole genome sequencing for the 500,000 participants in the UK Biobank.
Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, has up to £5.4 million from the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) to invest in projects that seek to apply whole genome sequencing to the analysis of cancers.
This funding is part of the ISCF’s £210 million Data to Early Diagnosis and Precision Medicine Challenge.
The challenge aims to fund researchers and industry to combine data and real-world evidence from UK health services and create new products and services that diagnose diseases earlier and more efficiently.
Aiming to encourage new cancer treatments
The competition aims to encourage new targeted cancer treatments based on the molecular signatures of cancer.
Projects must use whole genome sequencing to analyse cancer and can adopt various approaches including development of reporting tools, identification of molecular signatures, identification of therapeutic targets, and new genetic signatures.
They can focus on one or more of:
- improving diagnosis and prognosis of cancer and selection of therapies
- analysis of complex molecular signatures
- identification of tumours of unknown primary origin
- further analysis of existing whole genome sequence data held by Genomics England
- the system of sample collection provided by the genomic medicine centres
The competition will support a range of work from short feasibility studies to partners working on larger research and development projects.
- the competition opens today and the deadline for applications is at midday on 22 January 2020
- businesses of any size may apply, and all projects must include at least 1 SME
- we expect projects to range in size between £50,000 and £1 million
- a briefing event will be held on 30 October 2019