14M Genomics ("14MG") and Syncona Partners LLP ("Syncona") announced today a £12.5 million equity financing to develop European clinical diagnostic and treatment decision services in cancer. 14MG is partnered with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute ("Sanger Institute"), which is leveraging the power of its state-of-the-art gene sequencing and cancer genome bioinformatics resources. The company will generate linked genomic and clinical datasets for major cancers, which will provide a reference base to enable diagnostic and prognostic stratification of patients, helping to guide treatment decisions for oncologists and patients.
14MG was founded by the leaders of the Sanger Institute Cancer Genome Project, Professor Michael Stratton, Dr Peter Campbell and Dr Ultan McDermott. The company, based on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, is collaborating with European clinical partners in studies to generate linked clinical genomic datasets using cancer gene panel and other technologies. 14MG has licensed proprietary technology and bioinformatics software from the Sanger Institute and will capitalise on the Institute's research and clinical grade sequencing pipelines. The company's medical and bioinformatics teams are building a clinical genomic data resource with portal access appropriate for future clinical diagnostic services. Collaborations with leading academic centres are being established in haematological and solid tissue cancers, where there are strong indicators that cancer gene biology has prognostic and treatment guidance value. 14MG also intends to collaborate with pharmaceutical partners to provide clinical genomic services in the study of investigational drugs, informed by its cancer gene pathway discoveries.
Andrew Sandham, Executive Chairman of 14MG, said
"Our partnership with the Sanger Institute provides world class resources that few start-up companies could access. This, and our relationship with Syncona, is proving a valuable gateway to access large clinical studies in cancer across Europe, at the scale and quality necessary to build medically useful clinical genomic datasets."
Professor Michael Stratton, co-founder of 14MG and Director of the Sanger Institute, added
"The Cancer Genome Project has enabled us to make important discoveries in cancer gene biology. There is a real drive to introduce genomic medicine into healthcare, and the founding of 14MG aspires to realise the clinical utility of cancer genomics through services to oncologists and patients."
Martin Murphy, CEO of Syncona, commented
"Syncona is a healthcare investment company that identifies and develops technologies with the potential of significantly impacting the healthcare market of the future. The development and commercialisation of cancer diagnostics requires deep and long term financial commitment and Syncona has the vision and resources to support companies like 14MG that will transform the diagnosis and treatment of cancer."
Andrew Sandham +44 (0) 1223 499975
Julia Wilson +44 (0) 7818 430877
About 14M Genomics
14M Genomics aims to become a European leader in the provision of clinical genomics services and decision support tools, which inform the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cancer. The company employs state-of-the-art sequencing and analytical tools, coupled with an in-depth understanding of cancer biology, to reveal associations between tumour genomics and the clinical path of the individual patients. 14MG aims to work together with the oncology community, academic institutions and pharmaceutical partners to improve the lives of cancer patients.
About The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is one of the world's leading genome centres. Through its ability to conduct research at scale, it is able to engage in bold and long-term exploratory projects that are designed to influence and empower medical science globally. Institute research findings, generated through its own research programmes and through its leading role in international consortia, are being used to develop new diagnostics and treatments for human disease.
The Cancer Genome Project, initiated in 2000, is using the human genome sequence and high-throughput mutation detection techniques to identify somatically acquired variants and hence identify genes critical to the development of human cancers.
Syncona LLP was founded in 2012 and operates as an evergreen investment company, taking an active role in identifying, developing and funding technologies with the potential to significantly impact the healthcare market of the future. Syncona can take the long view when necessary, able to concentrate investment into opportunities as technology is validated. Syncona is a subsidiary the Wellcome Trust that invested the initial £200m capitalisation.