Roche and the Australia-based Garvan Institute of Medical Research are collaborating to develop new technologies for targeted epigenomic analysis using DNA sequencing. Genomics is a rapidly evolving field with a focus on realizing the potential use of sequencing information in patient diagnosis and treatment.
More recently, epigenetics—the heritable changes in gene expression that are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence or genetic code, but rather involve secondary chemical modifications of the DNA and the structural proteins in chromosomes—is being recognized as playing an important role in a host of biological processes and their role in cancer has been increasingly investigated. Due to the myriad of epigenomic events responsible for influencing expression of genes in chromosomes, more advanced methods are being sought to accurately analyze these changes.
During the two-year discovery agreement, the Garvan Institute and Roche will collaborate to develop new methods to accurately analyze regions of the epigenome. The collaboration brings together genomics experience and infrastructure from the Garvan Institute and the best-in-class products for target enrichment from Roche NimbleGen, part of the Roche Sequencing Unit. The SeqCap Target Enrichment System from Roche will be used by scientists at the Garvan Institute to further their research in epigenetic influences on human diseases.
Financial terms of the collaboration have not been disclosed.