Genomics England was set up in 2013 as a company wholly owned by the Department of Health. Their task is to deliver the 100,000 Genomes Project, a flagship project that will sequence 100,000 whole genomes from NHS patients with a rare disease and their families, and common cancers. There’s also an infectious diseases element to the project which is being run by Public Health England.
As of December 2018, Genomics England reached the milestone of sequencing 100,000 whole genomes. They are currently working towards completing sequencing all samples that were submitted to the project and returning results to the NHS through 2019. For rare disease patients, Genomics England aims to provide genomic diagnoses for the first time. For patients with cancer, there is the potential for more personalised treatments and in time, the project will lead to the development of new or more effective diagnostics and treatments. By the end of this project, Genomics England will have put in place the infrastructure, training, and systems to enable the NHS to offer genomic medicine to those who need it.
This is currently the largest project of its kind in the world and it puts the UK at the forefront of transforming healthcare through genomics.
Genomics England is working with NHS England, Health Education England, and Public Health England to deliver the project. There are thirteen NHS Genomic Medicine Centres (GMCs) across England to recruit patients, take the samples and provide medical information to the project. Initiatives in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales have also been set up.
Here are some of the exciting milestones reached by the Genomics England team:
Following the success of the 100,000 Genomes Project, the Department of Health and Social Care has tasked Genomics England with supporting the Secretary of State’s aspiration of sequencing 5 million genomes in the next five years.
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