Federal government announces new genome project

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Health minister Greg Hunt has announced the federal government is teaming up with Roche on a research project focused on genomics and personalised medicine.

The federal government will invest $5 million from the Medical Research Future Fund in the ‘ASPiRATION’ project. It is a genomic profiling research project for 1,000 Australians with newly diagnosed metastatic, non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer.

The project is jointly funded by Roche. Its Foundation Medicine business is a world-leader in whole-genome sequencing.

Each patient in the project will have a comprehensive genomic profile with the information used to improve and optimise treatment by matching potential therapies.

"Patients participate in clinical trials for substantially life-prolonging targeted therapies. Targeted therapies reduce side effects, avoid unnecessary treatments and offer new hope," said Mr Hunt.

"It will also serve as a blueprint for how precision medicine, enabled by genomics, can become a standard of care in treating lung cancer in Australia."

The study will commence enrollment from July this year. It will be conducted by the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre, the Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group and the National Health and Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Centre.