17 April 2018
The project is a collaboration between the Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s Cancer Division and Genome.One, Garvan’s wholly owned subsidiary. It aims to support Australia’s precision cancer clinical trials industry in getting the right treatment to the right patient, at the right time.
Researchers will develop a commercial cancer genomics data platform that will help match individual patients to the most relevant clinical trials of precision cancer therapies. In addition, the platform will enable genomic data to be incorporated into cancer cohort studies and precision cancer clinical trials.
In tandem, the team will develop a new genomic profiling test for solid tumours and will seek clinical accreditation for the test.
Associate Professor Marcel Dinger (CEO of Genome.One and Head of Garvan’s Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics) said the next generation of clinical trials for cancer required fast, comprehensive and cost-effective genomic profiling of tumours.
Associate Professor Dinger said there was a need for a cancer genomic test that was designed with the Australian market in mind. US regulators had recently approved two US cancer genomic tests, he said, but their cost was prohibitive for routine use in Australia and their matching to US-approved drugs and trials was of limited use here.
The project would provide competitively priced and rapid local testing, and would help to ensure Australia remained an attractive clinical trial site and leader in precision medicine, he said.
"Genomic data adds a hugely valuable layer of information to clinical trials. One of the major barriers in the application of genomics in clinical trials is access to clinically accredited sequencing and analyses. This project opens a whole new dimension of molecular information to improve the power of clinical trials across Australia," Associate Professor Dinger said.
The $891,500 grant was announced today by Minister for Health Greg Hunt and MTPConnect – the Medical Technology, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry growth Centre. It is one of 11 projects selected to receive a total of $10 million in funding from the Government’s BioMedTech Horizons program.
“The Turnbull Government is committed to improving the health services for all Australians and will continue to invest in better treatment, care and medical research,” Mr Hunt said.
“Our researchers are innovators and this investment will speed up the journey from idea to reality.”