Contextual Genomics and the Personalized Medicine Initiative Sign Sequencing Technology Leader Illumina to National Access Project

July 17, 2015 – Contextual Genomics

Vancouver, BC – July 17, 2015 – Contextual Genomics, developers of genomics-based cancer tests, and the Personalized Medicine Initiative (PMI), an organization bringing molecular-based medicine to Canadians, are pleased to announce global sequencing technology leader, Illumina, Inc. has joined its National Access Project consortium.

The National Access Project aims to make genomics testing a standard practice in cancer care to improve precision in cancer diagnosis, enable individualized treatment based on the genes contributing to the cancer and support better health outcomes. Illumina’s best-in-class genomics technology will be used to sequence the DNA collected by the National Access Project.

“Illumina has played a key role in the major breakthroughs made in genome sequencing over the past decade and we are very pleased to have Illumina as part of our National Access Project consortium,” stated Chris Wagner, President & CEO of Contextual Genomics. “Our goal to deliver standardized clinical cancer testing is made possible through the technology developed by Illumina.”

About The National Access Project
The National Access Project for Cancer Testing, managed by the Personalized Medicine Initiative with testing provided by Contextual Genomics, provides a 90-mutation cancer genomics test for 2,000 cancer patients free of charge in ten centres across Canada. Each identified mutation is actionable with current medications or Phase 3 investigational treatments. As part of the program, real-time reports will be made available enabling patients and oncologists to make informed treatment decisions early.

The first phase of the project is currently underway and is retrospectively mapping tumours to identify the mutations for approximately 500 patients.  The results of the genetic mapping and corresponding therapies will be shared with oncologists.

This second phase will involve broadening the patient base to approximately 1,500 patients across the country to prospectively evaluate and match specific tumor types with approximately 40 therapy options. It is hoped that by understanding a patient’s personal genomic profile, both healthcare professionals and patients will be better equipped to diagnose and treat cancer. The goal of personalized medicine is to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs and adverse drug reactions.

Funding and technical assistance for the project are being provided by some of the world’s leading life science organizations including AstraZeneca, Contextual Genomics, Illumina, Pfizer, PMI, and Sanofi.

About Contextual Genomics:
Contextual Genomics is developing a novel suite of standardized genomics-based cancer tests to identify a patient’s tumour profile. This precision in cancer diagnosis allows healthcare professionals to more accurately determine the most effective treatment options for the patient using a single test.  The company’s first products are actionable molecular tests that unify multiple companion diagnostics for multiple medicines into a single test that guides diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Led by global leaders in molecular diagnostics, genomics and bioinformatics who have unparalleled expertise in genomic assay development, Contextual Genomics aims to bring patients a gold standard in molecular diagnostics that will lead to advanced services in personalized cancer care.

About Personalized Medicine Initiative:
The PMI is an inclusive organization representing stakeholders in BC and Canada that has the objective of bringing personalized, molecularly-based medicine to Canadians with the aim of improving healthcare outcomes and efficiency as well as enabling more effective preventive health delivery. The PMI is based at the Life Sciences Institute at UBC; Canada’s leading Life Sciences Institute.

For further information:

Contextual Genomics
Chris Wagner
President and CEO
Tel: 778-379-2931

Personalized Medicine Initiative
Rob Fraser, PhD
COO, Personalized Medicine Initiative
Tel: 604-827-2088