Genome Canada, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and Thermo Fisher Scientific are set to partner in the development of a solution for next generation sequencing (NGS) assays and analysis software.

The collaboration is aimed at evaluating and improving management of pancreatic, prostate and breast cancer.

As part of the $6m, three-year collaboration, the partners will standardise advanced molecular profiling in these disease areas.

They are also planning to make the assays commercially available across the globe. The assays will be used to stratify patients in clinical trials in Ontario and other jurisdictions.

The partnership is based on clinical research between OICR and Thermo Fisher and will focus on genomic diagnostics in pancreatic cancer and targeting treatment in breast and prostate cancers.

OICR Diagnostic Development programme director Dr John Bartlett said: “By supporting research and clinical trials, Genome Canada is helping to put more of Ontario’s innovative cancer diagnostics research into clinical use.

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“This project has the potential to springboard advanced next-generation sequencing to routine clinical use in Ontario and across Canada.”

Genome Canada will contribute $2m through the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) for the initiative. The remaining funds will be provided by OICR and Thermo Fisher, covering development costs and validation activities.

Thermo Fisher Scientific NGS precision medicine initiatives, clinical NGS and oncology global lead Jeff Smith said: “When OICR approached our team with the idea for this project, we saw it as another exciting for opportunity to bring Thermo Fisher’s proven Ion Torrent technology to clinical laboratories across Canada and to contribute to future improvement of patient care.”