Life Technologies Consortium to Create New Frontline Diagnostic Utilising DNA Sequencing for Cancer Patients in the U.K.

By Life Technologies Corporation, PRNE
Tuesday, June 21, 2011

PAISLEY, U.K., June 22, 2011 -

Programme aims to demonstrate
clinical and economic benefit of DNA sequencing such as:

- standardised tests for fast, comprehensive decision making,

- increased pharmaceutical investment in UK-based clinical

Life Technologies
Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) today announced that the company has
led a successful consortium bid for a Technology Strategy
Board grant, in partnership with the Oxford NIHR Biomedical
Research Centre, AstraZeneca, and Ortho Biotech Oncology Research
& Development unit of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical
Research & Development, L.L.C. (ORD). The grant will fund
development of a commercial multi-gene next generation sequencing
test that will provide comprehensive molecular profiles of tumours
in order to identify therapy options. Development of this test will
improve the consistency and elevate the standards of cancer care as
well as stimulate UK economic growth and job creation.  

“Cancer patients are fighting a progressive disease, and they
need answers fast.  Incomplete or incorrect diagnostic
information can lead them down unproductive therapy paths,” said
Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at University of
. “New DNA sequencing technology can improve the speed and
accuracy of cancer care decision making. This consortium will help
pave the way.”

New panels expected to have broad global impact on cancer
care and bring economic benefit to
Great Britain

The programme is expected to have significant economic benefit
on several levels. Using novel next generation sequencing (NGS) and
informatics, the genomic test will be commercially available to a
global market, and the UK will share in the economic proceeds.
Genomic testing infrastructure, including next gen sequencing, will
attract additional pharmaceutical clinical trial investment in the
UK, a major source of international investment.  Pharma
companies AstraZeneca and ORD are supporting the programme because
they recognise its potential for efficient clinical trials and new
research insights. Meanwhile, the National Health Service (NHS) can
save money through effective allocation of treatments. Market
analysis indicates that even if only five per cent of cancer
patients avoided one round of ineffective therapy, more than 375
million pounds Sterling
(US$560) would be saved.

In addition, the programme also aims to make clinical trial
enrollment less of a trial-and-error process. Today, patients learn
about clinical trial opportunities through their physician or
online resources. They may qualify for a trial based on a number of
factors including specific genetic markers or profile.  With
standardised genomic testing in place, one diagnostic test will
enable a physician to recommend several trials that may be suitable
for their patient. At the same time, pharma companies should be
able to start their studies more quickly, and will be able to
review the genetic profile of patient cohorts to better understand
the genetic factors associated with favorable or unfavorable drug
response. A new clinical trial model could emerge.

Demonstrating medical benefit of broad
genomic sequencing, while creating an efficient new model for
clinical trials

Britain’s largest cancer charity, Cancer Research UK is
implementing a separate but complementary programme which aims to
demonstrate the benefit of routinely testing tumour samples as a
standardised, cost-effective process. This program is a multi-year
investment that will begin with a pilot phase testing 9,000
patients’ DNA for cancer markers in nine known cancer genes.

“Research into cancer genetics has led to an understanding of
what gene tests can help a doctor target the right treatment for
the right patient,” said James Peach, Director of Stratified
Medicines at Cancer Research UK.  ”Cancer Research UK
recognises the huge potential for targeted treatment in the future
of cancer care, but we need to ensure the NHS can deliver the
tests. We believe that the best way for this to happen is if we can
demonstrate a consolidated, quality assured sample collection and
testing network covering the main biomarkers for existing and
future therapies. By proving that this can work in the NHS, we can
make sure that all doctors can access the right tests.”

The new multi-gene NGS test developed by Life Technologies will
be made available to Cancer Research UK Stratified Medicine
laboratories in early 2012, for comparison with existing testing
methodologies.  The Life Technologies programme fits with the
Cancer Research UK Stratified Medicine by developing the test,
while Cancer Research UK Stratified Medicine will demonstrate the
operational model to deliver these tests in the NHS.

1,500 patient program at Oxford will report
expanded panel of 150 genes selected by researchers and
pharmaceutical partners

Beginning in 2012, the Oxford BRC will be conducting a 1,500
patient prospective clinical trial that will measure and report on
an expanded panel of 150 genes selected by researchers and
pharmaceutical partners. Oxford’s clinical trial will utilise Life
Technologies’ multi-gene NGS test. Through review of these study
results, physicians may be able to identify alternative care
options for their patients, and be able to recommend suitable drug
trials taking place in the Oxford system.  

“The current system for clinical trial enrollment is grossly
inefficient,” said Bell. “The onus is on individual patients and
their doctors to identify and apply for trials. If a patient is not
eligible for one trial, they must start anew looking for

In contrast, treating physicians who have patients participating
in the clinical study at Oxford will receive a report, based on
genetic analysis, outlining which of the trials ongoing at Oxford
could be a suitable match for each of their patients in the

“We’re trying to evolve a new model for both cancer treatment
and cancer clinical trials,” said Peach, “in which patients are
quickly moved into appropriate trials based on their individual
genetics. And, because almost all drug trials are delayed due to
lags in enrollment, UK research will benefit from this model as

The 150 genes in the Oxford study will be selected with input
from pharmaceutical companies, as genes of interest for potential
new drug targets or markers for efficacy of existing drugs or those
under development.

Fast and economical Personal Genome
Machines will enable affordable price point for nine gene

The consortium will create and validate the new NGS-based test
on the Ion Torrent™ Personal Genome Machine™ (PGM), a next
generation sequencing platform that can sequence hundreds of genes
in just two hours. The semi-conductor based PGM was selected for
its ease of use, speed, accuracy, and economic pricing. The new
test will include a report on nine known genetic markers at a price
that is affordable within the National Health Service.

“Rapid, cost-effective sequencing is taking us into a new
genomic knowledge economy,” said Paul Billings, M.D., Ph.D., chief
medical officer of Life Technologies. “We are approaching an
entirely new way to address, diagnose and treat cancer. In the near
future, we see DNA sequencing as a routine part of patient care,
generating a new kind of valuable information as a decision
resource to physicians.”

Life Technologies has a strong presence in the U.K., with over
700 employees in research & development, manufacturing, and
commercial operations; its European headquarters is in Paisley,

About Life Technologies

Life Technologies
Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) is a global biotechnology company
dedicated to improving the human condition. Our systems,
consumables and services enable researchers to accelerate
scientific and medical advancements that make life even better.
Life Technologies customers do their work across the biological
spectrum, working to advance the fields of discovery and
translational research, molecular medicine, stem cell-based
therapies, food safety and animal health, and 21st century
forensics. The company manufactures both molecular diagnostic and
research use only products. Life Technologies’ industry-leading
brands are found in nearly every life sciences lab in the world and
include innovative instrument systems under the Applied Biosystems
and Ion Torrent names, as well as, the broadest range of reagents
with its Invitrogen, Gibco, Ambion, Molecular Probes and Taqman
products. Life Technologies had sales of $3.6 billion in 2010, has
a workforce of approximately 11,000 people, has a presence in
approximately 160 countries, and possesses one of the largest
intellectual property estates in the life sciences industry, with
approximately 3,900 patents and exclusive licenses. For more
information on how we are making a difference, please visit our
website: href=""> 
Follow Life Technologies on Twitter href="">@LIFECorporation and
on href="">Facebook.

About Oxford Biomedical Research Centre

The Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre is a partnership
between the University of Oxford and the Oxford Radcliffe NHS
Hospitals Trust, funded by the UK’s National Institute for Health
Research (NIHR), to enable clinical research and foster innovation
to improve healthcare. Founded in 2007, it is one of five such
comprehensive BRCs in the UK.

About The Technology Strategy

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body
which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a
global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for
Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy
Board brings together business, research and the public sector,
supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products
and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges
and help build the future economy. For more information please
visit: Technology Strategy
Board website

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Life Technologies Contacts:
Suzanne Clancy

David Robertson
+44 141 814 5889
M: +44 753 4699 420


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