Complete Genomics, SAIC-Frederick collaborate to validate somatic mutations from pediatric cancer cases

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Complete Genomics Inc., a life sciences company focused on human genome sequencing, today announced a collaboration to identify and validate somatic mutations from 50 pediatric cancer cases from multiple research centers across the United States.

SAIC-Frederick, on behalf of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), will be using Complete Genomics' sequencing, bioinformatics and scientific services to sequence and analyze 50 tumor-normal pairs. This analysis could enable researchers to identify patterns of tumorigenesis and ultimately lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of pediatric cancers.

SAIC-Frederick is the prime contractor for the NCI's R&D facility in Frederick, Md. This project, which is being undertaken by Complete Genomics forms part of the NCI's Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) Initiative. TARGET seeks to use genomics technologies to rapidly identify valid therapeutic targets in childhood cancers so that new, more effective treatments can be developed. It is currently focusing on five childhood cancers: acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, neuroblastoma, osteosarcoma, and Wilms tumor.

Complete Genomics will seek to identify and validate mutations found in the pediatric tumor genomes. These could include somatic single nucleotide polymorphisms, insertion/deletions, copy number variations, and somatic variations. The sequenced data, as well as the assembled and validated data sets are expected to be submitted to the National Center for Biotechnology Information's Sequence Read Archive database, as well as the TARGET Database.

Complete Genomics will be paid $1.1 million for completing this project, which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

Upon success of this project, the contract contains an option for SAIC, on behalf of the NCI, to sequence more than 500 additional NCI cancer cases (more than 1,000 genomes) over an 18-month period with Complete Genomics.

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