A BC Platforms (BCP) partnership that includes Finland’s Euformatics and Hungary’s Oncompass Medicine has been awarded a contract for the second phase of developing standardized oncology workflows for a buyer consortium of seven European hospitals, represented by the Medical University Graz.
The consortium is formed by hospitals from the Medical University of Graz in Austria, University of Florence and University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy, Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands, Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel and St. Anna Children’s Cancer Research Institute in Germany, and the Centre Léon Bérard in France.
This follows on from the announcement in May 2022 about the three companies forming a partnership to deliver phase 1 of this Instand-NGS4P project.
Instand-NGS4P is a Horizon 2020 funded project that shares BCP’s vision for improving cancer patients’ diagnostics. This is achieved by developing and providing integrated and standardized workflows for next generation sequencing (NGS) and integrating information from cancer gene testing, pharmacogenetics testing and e-medication, to support medical decision making. The program will run, with three phases, until May 2025 with a total pre-commercial procurement budget of approximately €8 million ($8.2 million).
BCP, Euformatics, and Oncompass Medicine, have been working on designing the solution. After a review of submitted reports from various providers for phase 1, and the applications for phase 2 regarding prototyping, the partnership has been awarded the phase 2 contract. The combination of existing IP and expertise in areas such as genomic data management, variant interpretation, NGS data quality control, and precision oncology, was fundamental to the partnership being awarded the contract.
Kurt Zatloukal, Professor of Pathology at the Medical University Graz, said: “Phase one of this important project to deliver innovative NGS workflows, driven by patient and clinical needs, has come a long way since our last announcement in May. The consortium of BC Platforms, Euformatics and Oncompass Medicine was selected from several highly competitive applications, which were assessed in a multi-step peer-reviewed process. We’re looking forward to continuing this stimulating collaboration in phase two.”
Tero Silvola, CEO of BC Platforms, said: “I’m delighted that the outstanding quality of the work on this significant Horizon 2020 funded project, resulting from our close partnership with the talented teams at Euformatics, and Oncompass Medicine, has been recognised with a contract for phase two. This is about helping define the clinical practices for oncology and precision medicine for years to come. We are proud that our genomic data management platform is playing a part in making healthcare better, alongside Euformatics’s expertise in variant interpretation and quality control, and Oncompass Medicine’s strong contribution to the e-medication part of the program.”
Pushing the envelope
Tommi Kaasalainen, CEO of Euformatics, added: “We’re delighted with another win in partnership with BC Platforms, having deployed clinical solutions together in North America, Europe, and Asia. Oncompass Medicine has been an excellent addition to the partnership, providing significant value. We’ll be continuing with this winning trio in phase two of the Instand-NGS4P program, which will build on top of the Euformatics Genomics Hub offering in close collaboration with leading European healthcare institutions.”
Istvan Petak, founder and CEO of Oncompass Medicine, said: “I said back in May we’re looking forward to pushing the envelope, and I’m delighted with how far we’ve been able to go, working closely with our partners. We want to provide an end-to-end solution for oncologists to find the right targeted therapy for every cancer patient based on the whole complex molecular profile of their tumor. This partnership will make it easy for hospitals to deploy better NGS services, and patients have better treatments, long after the project is completed.”
The second phase of the project starts now, with results due in January 2024. The hospital purchasing consortium will then evaluate the output of all phase 2 contractors and select those to continue to phase 3 to eventually deploy and integrate in 2025 two standardized NGS workflows as the result of the Instand-NGS4P program.