Leading genome sequencing platform comes to Melbourne

Thursday, 08 June, 2017


The Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF) and the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research (UMCCR) have established a state-of-the-art NovaSeq genome sequencing platform at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC). The platform is expected to revolutionise the detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and rare genetic disease through rapid and efficient genome analysis.

Through their Genomics Innovation Hub partnership, the partners are among the first globally to receive and deploy NovaSeq DNA sequencing technology from Illumina. The technology was purchased with assistance from the National Collaboration Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Agility Fund for nationally significant infrastructure, secured through the support of Bioplatforms Australia.

A single NovaSeq 6000 instrument has the capability to sequence 50 human genomes in less than two days, paving the way towards the sub-$100 genome and advances in clinical genomics and precision medicine. It also has potential applications in the agricultural and environmental industries.

“When we pioneered the genome sequencing of our first Australian cancer patient seven years ago, it took more than six months to complete and cost roughly $1 million,” said UMCCR Director of Research Professor Sean Grimmond. “NovaSeq technology, coupled with the latest computing solutions, now provides us with the means to carry out similar studies in days and at the price of an MRI.”

“The acquisition of NovaSeq technology delivers on AGRF’s commitment to leading innovation and supporting world-class Australian genomic science,” said AGRF CEO Dr Irene Kourtis. “Importantly, the collaborative relationship with the University of Melbourne and the other Genomics Innovation Hub partners will help advance Australia’s place at the forefront of medical research and patient care.”

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