Oxford University and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust have brought UK analytics group Genomics plc onboard a research project focused on the translation of whole genome sequencing into clinical practice.

The groups have signed a collaboration agreement that will see Genomics use its bioinformatics tools to analyse and interpret up to 500 genome sequences focusing on rare diseases and cancer.

Genomics has developed a unique analytical platform to help make sense of complex genomic sequence data, which combines proprietary algorithms and software with its expertise in data mining, in order to uncover the relationships between genetic variation and human disease.

“The project provides us with the opportunity to apply our data analysis solutions to analyse genomes at scale and in a clinical context and to demonstrate the real value that analyses of large genomic databases can add to research programmes such as this,” said the group’s chief executive John Colenutt.

The project, which is supported by the Wellcome Trust and Department of Health through the Health Innovation Challenge Fund, hopes to establish genome sequencing as a clinical tool across a wide range of disorders, to aid clinicians and improve patient outcomes. 

The study will also serve as a pilot for other national scale programmes to integrate genomics and healthcare, the groups said.