Genomics England announces successful companies in Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) for a share of £8 million

Genomics England today (11 March 2015) announced the successful companies in its Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Phase Two assessment of Enabling Technologies for Genomics Sequence Data Analysis and Interpretation.  £8 million is being made available for the product development stage of the competition with the companies adopting a programme of 12 to 24 months each.

This competition seeks development of technological innovations that will enhance genomic sequence data analysis capabilities. It is intended that this will support the development of new commercial products to develop the diagnostic potential of genomic screening and the wider use of stratified medicine in the UK and in world healthcare.

The successful companies are developing the following products:

  1. Congenica: SAPIENTIA TM Analytics Platform – Innovation and Commercialization for Genome Diagnostics, Clinical Research and Gene-Discovery for rare disease;
  2. Genomics Ltd: Statistical tools for population-scale clinical genome analysis;
  3. Omixon UK Ltd: HLA genotyping from NGS data;
  4. Oxford Gene Technology: NGS Interpret;
  5. Seven Bridges Genomics UK Ltd: Highly Accurate Variant Discovery Using Population Genome Graphs.

Dr Augusto Rendon, Director of Bioinformatics at Genomics England commented, “We attracted some strong proposals through the Phase One competition and it was difficult to select which companies would go on to Phase 2.  The successful companies are working on some exciting products tackling really important problems and have the potential to greatly enhance the way we do data analysis and clinical interpretation. We look forward to working with them in Phase Two”.

Professor Tim Hubbard, Head of Genome Analysis at Genomics England commented, “For widespread use of genome sequencing in routine health care the development of accurate and reliable interpretation software is critical. We are encouraged to see new and existing companies developing products and services in this space; building on UK academic research, in part stimulated though the existence of the Genomics England, the 100,000 Genomes Project, and this competition. We believe that there is now a critical mass of medical bioinformatics translational activity in the UK that puts the UK in a good position to be a leader in the global market for genomic analysis services”.

About the Small Business Research Initiative

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) is a mechanism which enables public sector bodies to connect with innovative ideas and technology businesses to provide innovative solutions to specific Public Sector challenges and needs.

SBRI competitions are open to all organisations that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution.  The SBRI scheme is particularly suited to small and medium-sized business, as the contracts are of relatively small value and operate on short timescales.  Developments are 100% funded and focus on specific identified needs, increasing the chance of exploitation. Suppliers for each project will be selected by an open competition process and retain the intellectual property generated from the project, with certain rights of use retained by the Department of Health and the NHS.

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