Cambridge start-up expands its genetic test offering

15 July 2016

A Cambridge startup which runs an online market place for clinical genetic testing has secured a new partnership with a leading laboratory to investigate genetic mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancer. 

GeneAdvisor makes it easier for doctors worldwide to find, compare and order tests from accredited laboratories for rare diseases, cancer treatment and personalised medicine. With more clinicians having easy access to state-of-the-art genomic technologies, more patients will benefit from the laboratories’ work and get diagnostic answers. NHS doctors are able to log in and place NHS patient orders through the system with no extra cost.

The new deal with TGLclinical (Translational Genomics Laboratory) offers testing to investigate mutations in the BRCA1/BRCA2 genes, which every year cause 14% of familial breast cancer and 14% of ovarian cancer in the UK.

Commenting on the start-ups new partner, Jelena Aleksic, CEO of GeneAdvisor said: “We are particularly impressed with the combination of clinical skill and comprehensive functional genomics research that has gone into building up their database of BRCA variants. The cancer testing they offer is high quality and comprehensive.

People who inherit a faulty copy of BRCA1/2 gene have a high risk of cancer. Detecting whether a patient’s cancer is caused by a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation not only helps patients receive the right treatment but means genetic testing and cancer prevention can be offered to the patient’s family. A study last year recommended that all women with ovarian cancer are given genetic testing, alongside appropriate counselling, within a year of diagnosis.

TGL clinical is within the Joint Clinical Academic Unit of the Division of Genetics and Epidemiology at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the Clinical Cancer Genetics Unit at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. 

Professor Rahman, director of the TGLclinical lab said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with GeneAdvisor who have created a secure online platform that will let the wider medical community have access to the expert, affordable gene testing we have implemented at the Royal Marsden. This will allow many more patients to benefit from our work.

The latest partnership builds on GeneAdvisors collaboration earlier this year with the Regional Genetic Centre at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, which offers diagnostic tests such as GEMINI clinical exome sequencing test which simultaneously sequences almost 5000 genes to diagnose ultra-rare diseases. 

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