Quintiles and Illumina look to jump-start cancer R&D with genomics sweepstakes

Global CRO Quintiles ($Q) and gene sequencing magnate Illumina ($ILMN) are scouting for some promising scientists, offering the use of their cash and technology to advance oncology research.

The two companies will award two fully funded grants to researchers looking to decode the underlying biology of cancer, marking the sixth year of their joint program. 

With the grants, winners will study tumor samples using a technique developed by Expression Analysis, Quintiles' genomics subsidiary, that taps sequencing technology from Illumina. Researchers will dig into formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor tissues in hopes of charting new discoveries that can fuel oncology R&D.

Investigators can apply for the program online by the Sept. 26 deadline, and experts from Expression Analysis and Illumina will review and score each submission.

"Our grant program offers motivation, encouragement and resources to researchers who share our commitment to identify genetic factors that influence health and disease," Expression Analysis President Steve McPhail said in a statement. "The grants serve to energize the quest for further advances in detecting biologically important genetic variations in oncology."

Quintiles bought Expression Analysis back in 2012 to bolster its in-house genomics expertise, and the business has grown steadily ever since. The CRO has since put its acquisition to use in creating sizable registries of patient data on a variety of diseases.

- read the statement

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