US biotechnology firm Illumina is collaborating with the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Government to set up a A$60 million Genomics Hub in Melbourne.
The Illumina-University of Melbourne Genomics Hub aims to improve public health outcomes through research and diagnostics in areas such as infectious diseases (including the coronavirus). The Hub also aims to accelerate biomedical research translation into routine clinical care, using highly targeted and personalised approaches.
‘We are honoured to receive the support and investment from the Victorian Government for the Illumina Genomics Hub,’ says Gretchen Weightman, Vice President and General Manager of Asia Pacific & Japan at Illumina.
‘This establishment will accelerate the translation and commercialisation of biomedical research in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct and give Victoria the opportunity to spearhead Australian genomics innovation at a global level.’
The Hub will establish three core platforms in clinical genomics, bioinformatics and health economics.
Researchers from the University of Melbourne are leading the first two flagship genomic innovation projects:
- Developing new genomic-based technologies for simpler and more effective diagnosis of the most challenging to treat cancer cases, led by the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research
- A novel platform to understand the varied types of disease progression of patients with COVID-19, which will help identify best-suited treatments for individual patients, led by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.
Illumina is also collaborating with the Communicable Disease Genomics Network to track COVID-19 in Australia using its Next Generation Sequencing technology. The technology enables real-time data sharing and integration to better understand the transmission and spread of the virus.