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CCG's access to 100k Genomes Project data is game-changer


By Mike Scialom


CCG.ai's co-founder and CSO Nirmesh Patel, left, with co-founder and CEO Dr John Cassidy
CCG.ai's co-founder and CSO Nirmesh Patel, left, with co-founder and CEO Dr John Cassidy

A long-term partnership between Cambridge Cancer Genomics (CCG.ai) and Genomics England, the Department of Health and Social Care’s genomics spin-out, has been announced.

Building on the data from Genomics England’s 100,000 Genomes Project and CCG.ai’s expertise in AI-driven cancer diagnostics, the partnership is expected to improve access to, and the effectiveness of, immunotherapies in lung and colorectal cancers.

Immunotherapies are fast becoming one of our most effective tools to fight cancer, working by stimulating a patient’s immune system to attack the disease. By leveraging the immune system’s own precise, adaptive defences against tumours, immunotherapy has the potential to be a universal answer to cancer.

“Genomics England have set the standard for population-scale whole genome sequencing,” said Dr John Cassidy, CEO at CCG.ai. “CCG.ai are excited to help translate this formative work into clinical benefit for cancer patients.”

His colleague, CSO Dr Nirmesh Patel, added: “In this project, we hope to extend this technology to a new class of breakthrough cancer medicines.”

CCG.ai currently stands as the only company with access to samples collected in the 100,000 Genomes Project, a feat that requires research proposals to be validated by participant patients themselves.

Genomics is changing the way healthcare is distributed across the population's entire lifespan
Genomics is changing the way healthcare is distributed across the population's entire lifespan

Prof Joanne Hackett, chief commercial officer at Genomics England, had this to say: “The process that CCG.ai went through with us highlights an important pillar of our organisation – the participants of the 100,000 Genomes Project. They have trusted us to be the custodians of their data, and in turn we have a responsibility to treat that with great care.

“Getting access to participant data or samples is a rigorous process by design, and one that involves the participants. In the case of CCG.ai, participants were particularly impressed by and enthusiastic about the CCG.ai research proposal, and eager to visit the company in Cambridge.”

The technologies involved in this project are fundamentally changing how we detect, treat and monitor cancer. This partnership is particularly valuable in that it gives CCG.ai the ability request access to data from Genomics England’s 100,000 Genomes Project: the benefit that 100,000 Genomes Project participants see in the work that CCG.ai is doing, and their enthusiasm for their samples and data to be used for the project, are great indicators of patient participation in the UK genomics industry, and emerging technologies as a whole.



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