Cutting edge DNA sequencing to solve medical mystery for Victorian patients

21 March 2016

Health Minister Jill Hennessy recently announced the $125 million program, led by the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance that will revolutionise genetic medicine in Australia.

“Delivering this election commitment puts Victoria at the forefront of genomic sequencing not only in Australia, but on the world stage’, Ms Hennessey said.

Up to 800 Victorian patients will soon be able to access genetic sequencing to help speed up diagnosis time and improve the treatment of illnesses.

As part of a $25 million Victorian Government investment to improve the analysis of genetic information, the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance will extend its research into five more areas. Those areas include immune disorders, poor heart function, congenital deafness and lymphatic cancers. 

Patients with defects in their immune system are among the first to agree to genomic sequencing through Melbourne Genomics, which is funded by the 10 Alliance members and the Victorian Government.

This work builds upon Melbourne Genomics’ initiatives over the past two years in which 315 patients received genomic sequencing. Early evaluation has found that sequencing is a far superior test for some conditions, providing quicker and more accurate diagnosis and improved patient care.

Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance (MGHA) is a collaborative initiative to integrate genomic information into everyday healthcare, with patients, clinicians and researchers benefitting from ethical access to the genomic information. AGRF together with The Royal Melbourne Hospital, The Royal Children’s Hospital, The University of Melbourne, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, CSIRO, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Austin Health and Monash Health are building a path forward for patients, clinicians and researchers to benefit from the vast potential of genomics.

AGRF continues to play a key role in this exciting and growing initiative through contributing our expertise in next generation sequencing at scale, NATA laboratory accreditation and biomedical genomics. AGRF is represented on the Health Alliance Leaders group, the Planning group and the new Clinical Genomics Advisory Group.