A new collaboration is set to speed up critical genetic analysis.

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s (MCRI) Victorian Clinical Genetics Services (VCGS) today announced a partnership with Edico Genome to reduce turnaround time of genomic testing from months to days.

VCGS has deployed Edico’s DRAGEN Bio-IT Platform as part of the Acute Care Genomics project, which is analysing genomic data from 250 babies and children in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and paediatric intensive care units (PICUs) across Australia.

“With the integration of DRAGEN, we are now able to drastically reduce the turnaround time for genetic tests. As a result, we can not only provide potential life-altering results faster, but also sequence more patient data and help to save more newborn babies’ lives,” says Dr Sebastian Lunke, head of the Translational Genomics Unit at VCGS.

DRAGEN uses field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology to rapidly accelerate analysis of data, completing detailed analysis in as little as 20 minutes.

The DRAGEN platform enables users to run a wide set of analyses, including Germline, Somatic, RNA and more, all from the same platform.

Edico says its bioinformaticians, computer scientists and engineers are continuously developing new algorithms and features designed to increase accuracy, speed and scalability. 

“Diagnosing children and newborns in the NICU and PICU is a race against the clock. While NGS is known to be a rich diagnostic tool, lengthy turnaround times have prevented its use in this setting,” says Dr Pieter van Rooyen, president and CEO at Edico Genome.

“Shrinking … analysis times enables potentially life-altering results and corresponding treatments to be received as quickly as possible while increasing labs’ capacity, enabling more patients to benefit.”