AstraZeneca joins Genomics England consortium

Thursday, 26 March 2015

AstraZeneca today announced that it has joined a public-private consortium with Genomics England to accelerate the development of new diagnostics and treatments arising from the 100,000 Genomes Project. The GENE Consortium (Genomics Network for Enterprises Consortium) is a unique partnership between industry, academia and the National Health Service (NHS) Genomic Medicine Centres, which aims to transform treatment for patients with cancer and rare diseases, providing faster access to the right therapy and personalised healthcare, establishing the UK as a world leader in this field.

Under the collaboration, AstraZeneca and other industry partners will each contribute seed funding and scientists to work on the project. Consortium members will have access to information from 5,000 whole genomes collected from the first stage of the 100,000 Genomics Project in full compliance with data protection laws. AstraZeneca will gain insights into the evolving area of genome science with a view to identifying new genes and biomarkers which could lead to the development of innovative diagnostics and treatments.

The 100,000 Genomes Project was launched in 2012 by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron. It aims to sequence a total of 100,000 genomes from patients with a rare disease and their families, and from patients with certain common cancers. It is supported by a £300 million government investment package making it the largest national investment in genome science in the world.

Dr. Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President of Innovative Medicines and Early Development, commented: “We’re excited to be involved in what is the largest genomics collaboration in the world. Our commitment to the 100,000 Genomes Project gives us the opportunity to work side by side with leading scientists from different disciplines to better understand how complex data coming out of the project can be converted into innovative treatments and diagnostics. As the UK’s leading pharmaceutical company in oncology, we are particularly looking forward to contributing our expertise in personalised healthcare and companion diagnostics to benefit patients and to further enhance the reputation of UK science around the world.”

Participation in the consortium reflects AstraZeneca’s personalised healthcare approach to developing new therapies. Currently more than 80 percent of the company’s pipeline across all therapeutic areas is being developed with a personalised healthcare strategy, including more than 30 programmes with a companion diagnostic test, helping to speed development and to deliver innovative new treatments to the right patients more quickly.


About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:



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