Genomics England welcomes publication of the Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance

The Department of Health and Social Care and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have announced the publication of the Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance today.

The Code is an agreement between Government and the insurance industry – with a commitment from insurers to not ask customers about predictive genetic test results when applying for insurance.

The Code updates a previous agreement – known as the Concordat and Moratorium on Genetics and Insurance – which was renewed every three years.

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Tribute to Professor Maria Bitner-Glindzicz

Professor Mark Caulfield, Chief Scientist at Genomics England said:

We are desperately saddened to learn of the tragic death of Professor Maria Bitner-Glindzicz.  Maria was an outstanding clinical geneticist and champion of people with syndromic hearing loss.

In the 100,000 Genomes Project she was one of the earliest colleagues to be involved with the programme and a wonderful contributor. Her kindness, indefatigable enthusiasm and wisdom was unwavering and she will be greatly missed by her patients,

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A New Deal on Data – articulating the contract between science and people

By Anna Middleton (Head of Society and Ethics Research at Wellcome Genome Campus), Vivienne Parry (Head of Engagement at Genomics England), Julian Borra (Citizen, Founder of Thin Air Factory)

Are you with us?

For most of us it is hard to unpick the various declarations, assurances and guarantees made regarding the sanctity of our data. Even the General Data Protection Regulation still feels quite far removed from the everyday lives of ordinary people and is seemingly absent of any consultation with them.

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Response to Science and Technology Committee Report on Genomics and Genome Editing in the NHS

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has today (20 April) published its report on Genomics and Genome Editing in the NHS.

In response, Sir John Chisholm said:

Sir John Chisholm

Executive Chair

“I welcome the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Report on Genomics and Genome Editing, published today. The report is a thorough and thoughtful exploration of the tremendous opportunities that genomics offers to the UK – its people, Read more >

Over 500 researchers granted access to the Genomics England Research Environment

• Over 500 researchers have been granted access to the Genomics England Research Environment, enabling them to carry out pioneering research on the 100,000 Genomes Project dataset.
• Genomics England has also adopted the bioinformatics platform Galaxy, providing initial access to students on the MSc in Genomic Medicine course with thousands of genomic analysis tools.

The Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership (GeCIP) is an international consortium of researchers, clinicians and trainees, established to improve understanding and practice of clinical genomics,

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Human genome pioneer Professor Sir John Sulston dies

The Wellcome Sanger Institute has announced today the death of their founding director and pioneering scientist, Professor Sir John Sulston.

Sir John founded and directed the Sanger Institute, then Sanger Centre, from 1992 to 2000, leading a historic period of genetic discovery. He led the UK’s contribution to the draft Human Genome, a monumental effort that laid the foundations for the research that is transforming healthcare and understanding of disease today.

Sir John Chisholm,

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UK leads the world as 100,000 Genomes Project hits the 50,000 genomes landmark to transform NHS patient care

The Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and Genomics England today announced reaching the 50,000 whole human genome sequences landmark within the 100,000 Genomes Project.

It is a milestone that sets the UK on track to fully realise the potential of genomic medicine, deliver better care for patients and establish the UK as the global ‘go to’ destination in the fast emerging genomics sector.

Genomics England was established in 2013 as a wholly owned company of the Department of Health and Social Care by the Secretary of State,

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Wales joins the 100,000 Genomes Project

Wales has joined the 100,000 Genomes Project, the Welsh Government announced today.  The project, now a UK-wide initiative, seeks to transform patient care, encourage genomic discovery and drive a thriving genomics sector.

In an agreement between Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (CVUHB), Cardiff University and Genomics England (the company leading the Project across the UK), 420 whole genome sequences (WGS) have been commissioned for patients with rare diseases and their families, in Wales.

The 100,000 Genomes Project aims to sequence 100,000 genomes from 70,000 people with rare diseases and their families,

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Verge Genomics joins the Discovery Forum

Verge Genomics joins the Discovery Forum to transform pioneering research into frontline patient treatments.

Genomics England and Verge Genomics, a leading artificial intelligence therapeutics company, announced today that Verge will join Genomics England’s Discovery Forum industry partnership. The partnership aims to translate groundbreaking research into innovative treatments, and ultimately patient benefit, as rapidly as possible.

The Discovery Forum provides an engagement platform for industry partners,

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Genomics England and Inserm partnership strengthens UK-French cooperation in genomic medicine

As part of the UK-French summit held in Sandhurst yesterday (18 January 2018), the UK and French Governments have announced enhanced cooperation between Genomics England and the French ‘Médecine Génomique 2025’ project.

The Strategic Genomic Medicine Partnership marks a strengthening of the existing relationship between Genomics England and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm). Formalising the agreement, senior representatives of both organisations signed a letter of intent for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

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Genomics England adopts Edico Genome’s DRAGEN Bio-IT Platform

Genomics England adopts Edico Genome’s DRAGEN Bio-IT Platform to increase accuracy, consistency of next-generation sequencing analysis

Today (8 January 2018) at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Edico Genome and Genomics England announced a new partnership to strengthen the accuracy and consistency of next-generation sequencing data analysis in Genomics England’s Rare Disease Pilot.

The partnership will further support Genomics England’s 2018 initiative to making next-generation sequencing (NGS) the standard of care across the UK’s National Health Service in 2018.

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Genomics England partners with Inivata and Thermo Fisher Scientific

Genomics England partners with Inivata and Thermo Fisher Scientific to unlock the genomic secrets of blood plasma – and improve our understanding of cancer

Genomics England has announced today a new industry collaboration with leading life sciences companies Inivata and Thermo Fisher Scientific to improve understanding of cancer. The pilot project aims to assess the quality of blood plasma samples and explore the potential of liquid biopsy testing to improve disease management and patient outcomes.

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Genomics England Responds to Report from Life Sciences Sector

In response to a report by Sir John Bell to the UK government, Sir John Chisholm, Executive Chair of Genomics England said:

Sir John Chisholm

Executive Chair

See the full report here.

“Genomics England welcomes Sir John Bell’s report to government from the life sciences sector – recognising as it does the critical role that genomics will play in the future health, well-being and economic prosperity of this country. Read more >

PanelApp reaches 150 diagnostic-grade virtual gene panels

The Genomics England PanelApp – our public crowdsourcing tool for evaluating and sharing rare disease gene panels – has now reached 150 virtual gene panels at version 1 or above. This means that the ‘green genes’ on these panels can be used in the analysis of rare disease genomes in the 100,000 Genomes Project, helping to find a diagnosis for patients and their families.

The publicly-available gene panels (or lists) are first created by our team of curators.

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Joanne Hackett joins Genomics England as new Commercial Director

Photo of Joanne Hackett

Joanne Hackett joins Genomics England on 18 April 2017 as its new Commercial Director and lead member of the company’s new Commercial Business Committee.

As Commercial Director, Joanne will develop the next phase of Genomics England’s industry engagement strategy by developing, managing and accelerating relationships with commercial organisations − creating opportunities for collaboration both nationally and globally.

Joanne brings a formidable track record of clinical, academic and entrepreneurial success.

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Whole genome analyses for cancer returned to the NHS within three weeks

One key aim of the 100,000 Genomes Project is to improve cancer care for NHS patients. Whole genome sequencing in cancer can enable clinicians to choose better treatments and improve outcomes for patients through personalised medicine.

While the Project continues to recruit patients and develop the infrastructure for interpreting genomic data at scale, we are delighted that the first four cancer whole genome analyses from our ‘fast track’ project have been returned to the NHS in 18 working days of patient samples being dispatched to our whole genome sequencing pipeline.

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Intellia Therapeutics joins the GENE Consortium

Today (12 January 2017), Intellia Therapeutics has joined the Genomics England Genomics Expert Network for Enterprises (GENE) Consortium, as the first dedicated genome editing company to participate in the 100,000 Genomes Project.

The GENE Consortium, established in March 2015, is the 100,000 Genomes Project’s industry partnership.  Intellia will join 12 other companies who are working together in a pre-competitive trial. The collaboration aims to identify the most effective and secure way of bringing industry expertise into the 100,000 Genomes Project to realise future potential benefits for patients affected by rare diseases or cancers. 

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A Year of Conversations about Genomics

By Vivienne Parry OBE, Head of Engagement at Genomics England

When we began the 100,000 Genomes Project, our initial engagement work was with potential participants, affected both by rare disease and cancer. We wanted to know what their principal concerns were. They turned out to be both practical – for instance, what the impact of results might be on their families or if they might be disadvantaged financially by taking part – and ethical,

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Findings from the National Consent Evaluation

By Dr Caroline Benjamin, National Service Evaluation Project Lead and Guild Senior Research Fellow, University of Central Lancashire

Earlier this year, I and colleagues from NHS Genomic Medicine Centres were asked to deliver an evaluation with the aim to further improve the quality of the consent process and materials in the 100,000 Genomes Project.

On behalf of the project team leads, Markella Boudioni (Imperial College London), Eliot Marsden and Antje Lindenmeyer (University of Birmingham),

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UK Prime Minister Opens New Sequencing Centre

Mike Stratton, Sir John Chisholm, Theresa May, David Bentley, Heidi Allen MP

Today (21st November) Genomics England, Illumina, and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute hosted the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, at the opening of the Bridget Ogilvie Building on the Wellcome Genome Campus in Cambridge. This is where DNA sequencing for the 100,000 Genomes Project takes place.

It is also the site where the UK’s contribution to the original Human Genome Project took place over 15 years ago. The campus is now home to some of the world’s foremost institutes and organisations in genomics.

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