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Life Technologies launches next generation of analytics power tools for cancer researchers

Life Technologies : 12 June, 2013  (New Product)
Life Technologies is introducing Oncomine Next Gen Sequencing Power Tools, an analytics offering that will allow cancer researchers to explore results from in-depth analysis of next generation sequencing (NGS) data, including data from The Cancer Genome Atlas.

In total, more than 4,500 paired tumour and samples have been analyzed to date.

"NGS has significant potential to deliver insights into what drives cancers and how the disease might be combated," said Dan Rhodes, PhD, Head of Medical Science Informatics for Life Technologies.  "However, the field has only begun to take advantage of the enormous amounts of data becoming available. The Oncomine NGS Power Tools provide simple access to comprehensive findings, many of them novel, from a team with a proven track record of mining scientific value from big data."

Oncomine NGS Power Tools constitutes a suite of software tools that enable cancer researchers to easily survey novel predicted driver mutations and gene fusions across all cancers and within two dozen specific cancers types, as well as explore simple summary analyses that integrate multiple types of gene and pathway aberrations with clinical data.

In addition to basic research applications, the NGS tools also provide a foundation for specialised biomarker services to pharma and biotech customers in their efforts to evaluate NGS data for biomarker and companion diagnostic development.   

With collaborators from the University of Michigan Medical School, Life Technologies scientists used the NGS Power Tools to discover FGFR gene fusions across a range of cancer types. These results are reported in the current issue of Cancer Discovery.

The investigators discovered FGFR fusions across a highly diverse set of nine distinct tumour types, including lung squamous cell cancer, bladder cancer, thyroid cancer, oral cancer, glioblastoma, and head and neck squamous cell cancer. Normal cell lines transfected with fusion constructs exhibited enhanced growth that was sensitive to FGFR inhibitors, indicating that the fusion genes were in fact acting to drive the cancers.

"We found that FGFR fusions occur across many more tumor types than has been previously reported," said Rhodes. "As a number of clinical trials for FGFR inhibitors are underway, these data underscore the importance of conducting trials based on mutation profiles rather than tissue of origin."

"Life Tech's Oncomine NGS Tools provide access to a substantial collection of results from NGS analysis, not available from any other source," said Dan Robinson, PhD, Assistant Research Professor at the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School. "With early access, we were able to expand our conclusions on the importance of targeting FGFR gene fusions in human cancer."

The new Oncomine offering extends the Power Tools product line, which includes Oncomine Mutation Browser, Copy Number Browser, and Gene Expression Browser, all containing data from both sequencing and microarray studies and utilized by pharmaceutical companies in their drug discovery and development work. In addition to products serving the pharmaceutical industry, Life Technologies recently launched the Oncomine Gene Browser for the academic and smaller biotech market. The Gene Browser provides a comprehensive gene summary at a moderate price point and is ideal for researchers working with small numbers of genes.

The Oncomine product line was initially developed by Compendia Bioscience, which was acquired by Life Technologies in October, 2012.

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