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Illumina signs fourth genotyping service agreement with Cancer Research UK

Illumina : 12 September, 2007  (New Product)
Cancer Research UK is to fund two studies designed to uncover genetic factors linked to the development of lung and ovarian cancers and both studies are part of a dual agreement with UK-based research centres that will total more than 15,500 samples.
Both studies will initially use Illumina's Infinium HumanHap550 Genotyping BeadChip, followed by customised analysis using Illumina's iSelect Genotyping BeadChip. These studies mark the third and fourth service projects to be conducted for Cancer Research UK by Illumina's FastTrack Genotyping Services team.

Collaborating with Illumina for one study will be Richard Houlston, PhD, with his research team at the Institute of Cancer Research, and Tim Eisen at the University of Cambridge. More than 2,000 samples will be run on the HumanHap550 BeadChip, followed by 5,600 samples on an iSelect Custom BeadChip. Dr Houlston and his team hope to uncover genetic risk factors associated with the development of lung cancer. A second study led by principal investigators Paul Pharoah, PhD, at the University of Cambridge and Simon Gayther, PhD, at the University of London will attempt to uncover genetic links to ovarian cancer. This study will process more than 2,000 samples using the HumanHap550 BeadChip and 6,000 samples using an iSelect Custom BeadChip.

'We have invested heavily in studies that supply us with robust data, giving us the power we need to uncover variants linked to cancer, a disease which will affect one in every three people. We hope that these studies will move us another step closer to understanding the genetic variants responsible for cancer development and progression, as well as to facilitate the development of improved therapeutic approaches,' said Dr Fiona Hemsley, Cancer Research UK's head of Institutes Funding.

'We are very pleased to work with Illumina's FastTrack Services team again. We initiated our first study with them in 2005, which resulted in discovery and a speedy publication in Nature Genetics of a gene linked to colorectal cancer. We are eager to start the next series of studies and look forward to the high-quality data we know we can expect from Illumina's technology,' said Dr Houlston. Working with Illumina for the first time are Dr Paul Pharoah and Dr Simon Gayther. 'Illumina's genotyping technology has been shown to provide the power and quality needed for cancer research. We trust that the results will speak for themselves and look forward to achieving the same successes Dr Houlston had during his colorectal study,' said Dr Pharoah.

'Almost every person who develops cancer requires some level of treatment, such as chemotherapy, which for some can prompt severe side-effects that ultimately may deter a person from undergoing this life-saving therapy. So there is significant incentive to understand the genetic basis of each disease,' said Marc Laurent, director of Illumina's FastTrack Genotyping Services group. 'The demand for our genotyping services continues to grow because researchers, like those with Cancer Research UK, have come to trust the quality of our technology, service, and support. To date, we have processed over 300,000 samples and generated more than 16 billion genotypes, many of which have helped researchers identify genes linked to a number of diseases such as several mental health diseases, asthma, and diabetes.'
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