Summary: The use of advanced technology gene sequencing methods is helping a UK NHS-owned molecular diagnostics company set new standards in the important areas of hereditary breast cancer testing and the identification of tumour markers for stratified medicines used in cancer care
Medica 2011: A specialist molecular diagnostics company will be exhibiting at Medica for the first time as part of an initiative to expand the successful take-up of its advanced gene sequencing and testing services.
The UK-based NewGene, jointly owned by an NHS Trust and Newcastle University, combines high level academic and medical expertise in clinical molecular genetics testing.
In particular, by harnessing the power of new medical sequencing and genotyping technologies more usually associated with medical research applications, the company provides high quality, cost effective and fast turnaround clinical genetics testing services
The commercial deployment of the latest technology Sequenom and Roche Genome Sequencer platforms gives NewGene the capability to handle large volumes of tests, ensuring clients benefit from economies of scale through competitive pricing and fast turnarounds.
Already this approach has been used successfully to develop an advanced gene sequencing process to successfully identify all mutations in the coding regions of two genes associated with inherited breast cancer – BRCA1 and BRCA2.
The breakthrough follows two years of assay development work and specially developed data analysis software that makes the identification of mutations less labour intensive‚ reducing costs and producing faster reporting times.
Similarly in the emerging area of stratified medicines for cancer care, NewGene is successfully using new gene sequencing solutions for tumour marker assays for KRAS, BRAF and EGFR mutation testing required to prescribe appropriate drug treatments for different types of cancer.
In addition, for pharmaceutical companies, the availability of a fast throughput and flexible molecular pathology test platform gives NewGene the capability to develop new clinical assays in response to the development of new genomic based medicines.
These genetics testing services are already being provided to a range of NHS and private sector healthcare organisations in the UK and are now being made more widely available throughout Europe.
As well as the new BRCA and other advanced clinical diagnostic testing services, NewGene is also working in collaboration with UK NHS regional genetics services in Birmingham and London to offer conventional testing services for 50 hereditary diseases including colon cancer, various neuropathies, overgrowth syndromes such as Noonans and muscular dystrophies.
In collaboration with other clients, NewGene is continually developing new services for other inherited disorders and tumour markers using advanced technology platforms.
For more details visit www.newgene.org.uk.