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Cape Town based CPGR (Centre for Proteomic & Genomic Research) and Geneva-based Quartz Bio S.A. form partnership to provide integrated biomarker solutions to pharmaceutical industry.

The Human Genome Project has given rise to a plethora of ‘omics’ technologies and a new era of data-driven biomedical research & development (R&D). In view of an opportunity to unravel mechanisms of disease in unprecedented breadth and depth, drug makers have started to integrate these applications into drug development programs. This has led to a convergence of diagnostic and therapeutic innovation and the emergence of Precision Medicine as a means to use rich data for streamlining drug R&D and developing tailored patient treatment.

Study design, data generation and data analysis should form components of an integrated process but in reality these two are often carried out in isolation. This can have negative implications on the quality of R&D outputs and the cost-effectiveness of projects. Realising an opportunity to add value to clinical drug development, Quartz Bio and CPGR have decided to enter into a partnership for the provision of integrated, adaptive, high-quality and cost-effective services to small and medium-sized drug developers.

Said Jerome Wojcik, CEO of Quartz Bio, ‘We will combine the GPCR’s expertise in omics data generation with the clinical bioinformatics data analysis capabilities provided by Quartz Bio. Together, we will provide an integrated and complete Precision Medicine value proposition. The joint offering will allow small to medium-sized players to optimise biomarker and companion diagnostic projects from design to execution and the interpretation of results. In addition, flexibility and cost-efficiency will be hallmarks of the Quartz Bio – CPGR partnership’.

‘CPGR has to date created a range of genomic and proteomic service offerings, as well as fruitful networks with academia and industry, spanning South Africa and extending into the African continent. This allows for the advancement of Precision Medicine in Africa, a field which effectively tailors drug development and use according to individual patient characteristics, said Reinhard Hiller, Managing Director at the CPGR. ‘Unique population genetic structures in Africa present an opportunity for streamlining the drug R&D process through biomarker-tailored studies and fostering biomedical innovation. Ultimately this will allow for more efficient and effective health systems, with benefits to patients and health care providers.’

About CPGR

The CPGR is Africa’s first fully integrated ‘omics’ service provider, built to leapfrog South Africa’s ability to conduct information-rich biomedical research onto a globally competitive level. The CPGR is a non-profit company based in Cape Town, South Africa, and based on an initiative by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and supported by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) to boost the development of a bio-economy in South Africa. The CPGR combines state-of-the-art information rich genomic and proteomic (‘omics’) technologies with biocomputational pipelines, and biological models, to create unique solutions in the human health and the agri-biotech sectors. The CPGR has an ISO 9001:2008 certified quality management system and is a BEE Level 2 contributor to socio-economic transformation in South Africa. Information about the CPGR can be obtained at www.cpgr.org.za and www.cpgr.org.za/blogspot.

About Quartz Bio

Quartz Bio SA is a clinical bioinformatics service company specialized in exploratory biomarker data analyses for the generation of precision medicine hypotheses. Quartz Bio provides modular data analysis solutions to the major steps of the biomarker development process. These include: biomarker study design, biomarker data quality control, statistical analysis and scientific reporting. The capital of the company is entirely owned by its employees, who are scientists from diverse educational backgrounds with a common track record of 6 to 10 years clinical bioinformatics experience in the pharmaceutical sector. Quartz Bio is ISO9001:2008 certified for Bioinformatics services. For more information, please visit the company’s web site: www.quartzbio.com.