Using Sanger sequencing for the entire human genome for the first time took 13 years and cost about 3 billion USD. Recently, high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology has made it possible to sequence a person’s entire genome in a few hours for about 1,000 USD. NGS is increasingly utilised in oncology: tumour analysis reveals clinical biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and assessment of progression as well as for personalised medicine. However, despite the significant reduction in costs and advances in technology, both must be accelerated to enable access to the best by all patients. The EU-funded oncNGS project is challenging the market through a pre-commercial procurement procedure to research and develop novel affordable solutions to provide the best NGS tests, for all solid tumours/lymphomas patients.
The OncNGS project challenges the market through a pre-commercial procurement procedure to develop an NGS tumour-marker analysis kit applicable to all tumour types that will include automated data analysis, interpretation and reporting to support decision-making. Standard use of NGS for tumour analysis could soon significantly enhance outcomes.
The oncNGS challenge consists in providing: (1) efficient molecular DNA/RNA profiling of tumour-derived material in liquid biopsies by means of (2) pan-cancer tumour marker analysis kit including NGS analysis integrated with (3) an ICT decision support system including analytical test interpretation and reporting.
The oncNGS consortium challenges the market launching a pre-commercial procurement procedure, a competitive process enabling the buyers to compare the developments carried out by the contracted suppliers through three phases: solution design, prototyping and clinical validation of a limited set of R&D supplies.
OncNGS is a strong consortium composed by eight buyers from five member states (Sciensano and Institut Jules Bordet from Belgium, Institut Curie and Hospices Civils de Lyon from France, Charite Universitaetsmedizin and Ludwig Maximilians Universitaet Muenchen from Germany, Alleanza Contro il Cancro from Italy and Institut Catala d’Oncologia from Spain) supported by six entities with wide experience in their fields (Agència de Qualitat i Avaluació Sanitàries de Catalunya (AQuAS) from Spain is expert in precommercial procurement, Belgian Cancer Registry, from Belgium and Institut National du Cancer from France are experts in cancer control, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Salamanca (IBSAL) and Valle de Hebrón Instituto de Oncología (VHIO) are experienced in biomedical research in the field of haematologic malignancies and De Clercq & Partners is experts in intellectual property rights and freedom to operate analysis).
Thanks to the provided solutions, oncNGS consortium is able to address their common identified unmet medical needs: (1) Establishment of valuable common tumour profiling strategy allowing to provide equal access to innovative medicines to all; (2) Outcome research analysis after treatments with targeted therapies as diverse testing leads to lowering the pooling capacity of obtained results, needed to obtain large enough sample numbers to perform statistics analyses; (3) Application of such essential testing to all patients, breaking down current unacceptable inequities due to the high costs of current diagnostics tests.
Sciensano is the coordinator of this project.