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Genome360 Phase II: Manitoba’s Provincial Applied Genomics Enterprise Platform

Regional Priorities Partnership Program (RP3)
Genome Centre(s):
Genome Prairie
Project Leader(s):
Beth Spriggs (Shared Health Inc.), Shantanu Banerji (Cancer Care Manitoba), Ayn Wilcox (Shared Health Inc.)
Fiscal Year Project Launched: 
Project Description: 

The use of state-of-the-art genomic technologies like next generation sequencing (NGS) for clinical applications has traditionally been restricted to the academic research setting or to clinical laboratories associated with large genomic centres. Manitoba’s current clinical testing program mimics those of most other regional health centres across Canada, with limited or no access to this technology despite providing front-line patient care. The majority of genomic testing is conducted in other provinces or sent out-of-country at a significant cost to the Manitoba government and delays to providing patient care. Through this initiative, the investment in local genomic infrastructure, the methods developed and realized benefits will be readily translatable to many provinces in similar situations. Not only will it serve existing needs in clinical, research, and training while providing social and economic benefits in each of these sectors, its flexibility allows it to grow to meet future demands. Genome360 is an innovative collaboration between Shared Health Manitoba, the main provider of clinical testing in Manitoba; Cancer Care Manitoba, the provincial agency at the frontlines of cancer patient care and research; Manitoba e-Health Services, the provincial ICT service that provides and supports electronic health systems; Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, a research unit within the University of Manitoba which contains a population research data repository linking multiple provincial health systems’ data sources; the George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation, a University of Manitoba research unit which evaluates and recommends evidence-based initiatives to improve health care policies and outcomes; Red River College, Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning and research; and Illumina, international leader in genomic analysis technology. Genome360 will serve to address three strategic provincial priorities: 1) expedite the process of assay repatriation to meet clinical genomics needs, 2) provide training for highly qualified personnel to support the growing demand for genomics expertise, and 3) develop a model to measure the real world cost and benefits of the genomics infrastructure for the local healthcare system. Beyond these immediate goals, the correlation of genomic data with other available health data is in its infancy. Manitoba has internationally recognized strengths in recording health data. Using these linked data sources, provincial institutions can provide the most accurate representation of genotype-specific health outcomes, health economics and patient benefit, having a significant impact on research in these fields at an international level. This consortium will provide an opportunity to support the Manitoba health sector and subsequently, companies and research organizations in pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and livestock, as we implement modern genomics technologies. Infrastructure established through Genome360 will also complement existing fundamental science research efforts both in the health and non-health sectors which are important to the provincial economy.