Archive – How we work with industry

The GENE Consortium

The GENE Consortium was launched at a workshop in London on 26th March 2015 and ran until July 2017. Visit our news section for more details of the launch.

⇒ Read more about our current work with industry: Discovery Forum

Participants at the GENE Consortium launch event

GENE Consortium launch event 2015

Genomics England is working hard to realise the potential benefits for patients from the 100,000 Genomes Project as quickly as possible. This is why Genomics England is working with industry from the start and making the most of companies’ expertise in developing new diagnostics and treatments.

A unique partnership between academia, the NHS Genomic Medicine Centres and industry will help transform treatment for patients with cancer and rare diseases, developing the right treatment and personalised care to tackle complex diseases, establishing the UK as a world leader in this field.

Companies came together to create the Genomics Expert Network for Enterprises (GENE) Consortium, to oversee a year-long Industry Trial involving a selection of whole genome sequences across cancer and rare diseases. Genomics England also collaborates with companies that specialise in data analysis, so that the project can benefit from cutting edge advances in handling Big Data. This Trial aimed to identify the most effective and secure way of bringing industry expertise into the 100,000 Genomes Project in order to realise the potential benefits for patients.

Members of the GENE Consortium

The GENE Consortium took part in a year long industry trial. The Trial aimed to identify the most effective and secure way of bringing industry expertise into the 100,000 Genomes Project in order to realise the potential benefits for patients.

Find out more

  • To see how we are working with academic and NHS researchers, visit our GeCIP pages.
  • About the genomics industry in the UK in general: a report from the Office of Life Sciences (opens in new window) describes the UK genomics market including market size, industry composition and projected growth.
  • For companies interested in finding out more please contact [email protected] (opens in your email application).
Download the industry prospectus ‘A framework for industry engagement’ (opens as PDF)

See our frequently asked questions page and GENE Consortium questions below.

13 pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostic companies all agreed to come together and work in collaboration to form the Genomics Expert Network for Enterprises Consortium – or for short, ‘GENE’ Consortium.

Members of the consortium pooled their knowledge, people and financial resource to work together on research studies of common interest for the duration of the industry trial. Members of the consortium were given carefully controlled access to a set of whole genome sequences and corresponding de-identified health information about participants in the project. All members of the consortium had to share the results of their analysis with everyone during the industry trial.

Running an industry trial enables members of the consortium to report back to Genomics England on what aspects of the data prove to be most useful to their research studies, what data is missing and how the data should be collected and developed further so it is captures what industry needs and in a format that is compatible with their research and data systems. They have made many helpful suggestions that will help increase the likelihood of successful research in the future for all those using this landmark data set. The requirement on all members of the consortium to share their learning and results in a collaborative environment ensures that the 100,000 Genomes Project and its partners can turn research findings into treatments, diagnostics and benefits for patients as soon as possible.

This dialogue between members of the consortium and Genomics England during the trial also constructively enabled Genomics England to decide how best to work with industry in the future once the trial concludes.

The GENE Consortium was open to a wide range of pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostics sector companies in the life sciences sector. The membership fee for large companies (with a market capitalisation over $1 billion) was £250,000 (plus VAT) per company.

As well as contributing financially, these companies also had to commit a number of employees, such as scientists and bioinformaticians, to the consortium. With other resources, such as the secondment of staff, Genomics England anticipates that the total investment from each company should total in the region of £500,000 (plus VAT) for the collaboration. Genomics England has always been clear that the charges should not prevent small companies or start-ups with great ideas from joining the consortium. In the spirit of actively encouraging them to get involved, Genomics England reduced the fee for those with a market capitalisation below $1 billion to £25,000 (plus VAT).

Genomics England is also collaborating with bioinformatics companies to help automate analysis of the genome data to improve efficiency, speed and accuracy.

The charges will be used to cover some of the costs of providing storage, analysis and security for the data.

⇒ Read more about our current work with industry: Discovery Forum