Almac and Quintiles latest to invest in genomics for personalised meds
First up is Almac, which earlier today announced that it has launched a DNA sequencing services for companies seeking to develop personalised medicines and companion diagnostics.
The new offering combines microarray, qPCR and IHC analysis with what Almac calls its Next Generation Sequencing platform, which was developed in response to feedback the firm received from customers after it first starting offering DNA and RNA sequencing in February this year.
Paul Harkin, President and Managing Director of Almac’s Diagnostics business unit said: “There are only a limited number of platforms that are truly amenable to diagnostic delivery. The NGS field has now moved to a point where it is a viable delivery platform and as such is a logical addition to our suite of services.
“We have already begun the process of developing CLIA based assays for important mutations involved in drug response.”
The launch follows just days after US contract Research organisation (CRO) Quintiles set out to expand its personalised medicines business through the acquisition of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina-based Expression Analysis.
The deal – financial terms of which were not announced – is one of a number Quintiles has made in the personalised medicine space in recent years according to senior VP of global labs Thomas Wollman, who described it as “another step forward in our efforts to bring personalized medicine into mainstream drug development.”
Since 2010 Quintiles has partnered with London Genetics to offer pharmacogenetics solutions, signed a deal with Population Genetics Technologies focused on genomic analysis and invested in UK biomarker developer Oxford Cancer Biomarkers.
Both Almac and Quintiles investments come just weeks after Icon secured additional space at a hospital in Manchester in the UK in a move designed to boost capacity for Phase I trials of personalised medicines.
It also follows GE Healthcare's purchase of nucleic acid technology CRO, SeqWright, in April this year, which was a move the US tech firm said was prompted by the desire to grow in the personalised medicines space.