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Cambridge Cancer Genomics to collaborate with Dante Labs and Nonacus for precision oncology service

Cambridge Cancer Genomics (CCG.ai) has agreed a new partnership with Dante Labs and Nonacus designed to deliver “the most comprehensive, cost effective and high throughput cancer sequencing and interpretation service in Europe”.

The collaboration will create a tumour-profiling service to improve the management, treatment and monitoring for cancer patients.

Dr Mattia Capulli, CTO and co-founder of Dante Labs, and Andrea Riposati, CEO and co-founder of Dante Labs (36729327)
Dr Mattia Capulli, CTO and co-founder of Dante Labs, and Andrea Riposati, CEO and co-founder of Dante Labs (36729327)

Genomic testing pioneer Dante Labs, based in L’Aquila, Italy, specialises in sequencing services for both solid tumours and cell-free circulating tumour DNA from liquid biopsies.

Birmingham-based Nonacus aids the detection of cancer with extremely sensitive next-generation sequencing libraries,

Their expertise will be combined with CCG.ai’s artificial intelligence-powered software platform, OncOS.

Oncologists and clinical researchers will be able to send samples for processing to Dante Labs, which will use library preparation kits from Nonacus and software from CCG.ai to create a complete sample-to-report solution.

If there are actionable mutations, the report will recommend the right treatments for those mutations.

And if there are novel or unactionable mutations, the software will also be able to match possible clinical trials.

Dr Nirmesh Patel, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Cambridge Cancer Genomics (36729329)
Dr Nirmesh Patel, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Cambridge Cancer Genomics (36729329)

Nirmesh Patel, CSO at Cambridge Cancer Genomics, said: “With cancer being one of the greatest healthcare challenges we are facing, this partnership opens the door to democratizing access to data-driven cancer treatment.

“Combining our industry leading precision oncology platform with Nonacus’ precise NGS solutions and Dante Labs’ fast and efficient NGS services provides customers with the ability to perform precision oncology at scale.

“The combined solution will enable oncologists to precisely and comprehensively profile a patient’s tumor and ultimately improve outcomes.”

Chris Sale, CEO of Nonacus, said: “Long turnaround time and lack of clinically oriented analysis are the main obstacles to fully deliver the potential of cancer genomics to patients.

“This partnership will provide the flexibility and accuracy that oncology professionals need to integrate cancer genomics into the care of their patients.

Dr Chris Sale, CEO of Nonacus (36729323)
Dr Chris Sale, CEO of Nonacus (36729323)

“The Covid pandemic has increased the backlog of genetic testing for cancer, potentially leaving many suspected cancers unconfirmed and treatments delayed. Dante Labs are one of the biggest clinical sequencing hubs in Europe able to process large numbers of samples in high throughput. It is our hope that by combining AI software from CCG.ai and our library preparation kits, together we will be able to process samples and provide bioinformatic analysis critical to determining the best treatment path for patients. Only with this comprehensive content at scale will it be possible to address the Covid backlog.”

Gianmarco Contino, a senior lecturer and associate professor in cancer genomic medicine at the University of Birmingham, and previously a clinical lecturer at the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, said: “It is the beginning of a revolution in cancer treatment. Until now we have been treating cancer by tissue of origin. But each cancer harbors a unique combination of mutation which makes it effectively a ‘rare’ disease.

“Therefore the right approach should be to start from the mutations and look for the right drugs. There is a great deal we can learn from sequencing cancer genomes: not only what therapy is going to be more effective but also safer and less toxic. We are now at a stage where a patient can benefit directly from this knowledge. Machine learning is helping us to unleash the potential of information hidden in the complexity of the genome.”

Cambridge Cancer Genomics was highly commended in the Start-up of the Year category at the 2019 Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards.

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