Medicine

World-leading genome sequencing capability established

A single NovaSeq 6000 instrument has the capability to sequence 50 human genomes in less than two days. Image credit: UoM

The Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF) and the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research (UMCCR) announced that they have established a state-of-the-art NovaSeq genome sequencing platform.

Based at the new Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC), this facility is primed to revolutionise the detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and rare genetic disease through rapid and efficient genome analysis.

Through their continuing Genomics Innovation Hub partnership, to provide Australia with access to world leading genomic technology, the partners are among the first globally to receive and deploy Illumina’s disruptive new NovaSeq DNA sequencing technology.

A single NovaSeq 6000 instrument has the capability to sequence 50 human genomes in less than two days, paving the way towards the sub-$100 genome and advances in clinical genomics and precision medicine.

Beyond biomedicine, the new facility also has exciting applications in the agricultural and environmental industries.

“The acquisition of NovaSeq technology delivers on AGRF’s commitment to leading innovation and supporting world class Australian genomic science,” AGRF CEO, Dr Irene Kourtis says.

“Importantly, the collaborative relationship with the University of Melbourne and the other Genomics Innovation Hub partners will help advance Australia’s place at the forefront of medical research and patient care.”

UMCCR Director of Research, Professor Sean Grimmond says, “When we pioneered the genome sequencing of our first Australian cancer patient seven years ago, it took more than six months to complete and cost roughly $1 million. NovaSeq technology, coupled with the latest computing solutions, now provides us with the means to carry out similar studies in days and at the price of an MRI. Given this scale, the platform will rapidly expand our Precision Oncology Sequencing Program and greatly enable the Cancer and Rare Genetic Disease programs of Australian Genomics and the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliances.”

The NovaSeq technology was purchased with assistance from the National Collaboration Research Infrastructure Scheme (NCRIS) Agility Fund for nationally significant infrastructure, secured through the support of Bioplatforms Australia.

Source: UoM

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