The Diagnostics business unit of the Northern Ireland-based Almac Group has launched a Next Generation Sequencing service as the latest addition to its range of solutions underpinning the development of personalised medicine.

The service will support Almac’s biopharmaceutical partners in developing molecular tests for enriching clinical trials and establishing companion diagnostics, with a specific focus on targeted re-sequencing, the group said.

Almac already offers solutions based on microarray, qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) and IHC (immunohistochemistry) analysis technologies. The Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) platform “fully complements this range of clinically focused diagnostic delivery platforms”, it noted.

NGS data analysis

The group had previously launched a service for analysing Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data.

Based on feedback from the marketplace, it decided to expand the service to include data generation and the delivery of NGS-based assays from Almac’s CLIA (US Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) registered laboratory, the group explained.

Opening the CVLIA laboratory in March 2011, Almac Diagnostics said it would support the business’s ongoing Biomarker Discovery and Development Strategy by enabling novel tests to be used in stratifying and enriching prospective clinical trials.

Commenting on the launch of the NGS service, Professor Paul Harkin, president and managing director of the Almac Diagnostics business unit, stated:  “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”.