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New company to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment

Queensland will become home to the first company in Australia offering whole genome analysis of cancer. The company, genomiQa, will improve healthcare by using precision medicine so treatments can be tailored to each patient’s cancer.

genomiQa is a start-up company originating from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute’s SEEDBox® initiative, which prepares promising research for commercialisation. genomiQa will offer hospitals, clinicians and companies high-quality analysis of data from whole genome sequencing.

QIMR Berghofer’s Director and CEO, Professor Frank Gannon, said the establishment of genomiQa was a major advancement in the field of precision medicine.

“Precision medicine is a fast-growing field of research that involves treating individual patients based on the particular genetic drivers of their cancer, as opposed to uniform approaches to treatment like chemotherapy,” Professor Gannon said.

“In order to offer patients the best treatment available for their individual cancer, we first need to be able to analyse their whole genome sequence to determine what pattern of broken genes has led to their cancer developing. This field is known as precision analytics.

“At QIMR Berghofer, genomiQa’s founders, Dr Nic Waddell and John Pearson, are leaders in the field of cancer genomics. genomiQa will use proven methods to offer fast, accurate and high-quality analysis of patients’ genomes.

“This company will make precision analytics available for mainstream use in the field of cancer diagnostics.”

genomiQa’s CEO, Dr Goslik Schepers, said the company would provide services to hospitals, doctors, pathology services and global sequencing companies.

“genomiQa will take the data from whole genome sequencing and use cutting-edge technology to analyse the results,” Dr Schepers said.

“Data from genome sequencing are only as good as the analyses performed on them. Our precision analytics methods for cancer are among the best in the world and will identify and report on mutations or chromosomal damage that may have caused the cancer to develop.

“This is an Australian first. Together with the genomiQa team, I am tremendously proud to be launching this new service, which will allow for the precise diagnosis of cancer so patients can receive the most suitable treatment for their disease.

“We anticipate that genomiQa will start to offer diagnostic reports for patients later this year.”