Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - East Genomics Laboratory Hub


Genmed is delighted to announce a four-year collaboration with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to provide a vendor-neutral managed genomics laboratory service within Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

The Trust is the lead organisation for the East Genomics Laboratory Hub (East GLH); one of seven hubs within England set up to introduce genomic testing into mainstream medicine. The East GLH serves 8.3 million people in the East Midlands and East of England with laboratories in Cambridge, Leicester and Nottingham. The service provides a genomic testing service for rare diseases, cancer and haematological malignancy.

Operations Manager, Colin Carr, at East GLH said, “The key function of the hub is to deliver genomic testing to help provide early diagnosis for people with certain conditions, including rare disease and cancer, as well as vital information which can predict how individual patients will respond to treatment.

For example, in breast cancer, Herceptin works to suppress tumour growth in some patients and not others. We know it will work in patients if they have a gene that causes an over expression of the Herceptin receptor. We can therefore predict how patients are going to respond to different treatments.

There are still few treatments, unfortunately for those with rare diseases, but there are gene therapies in development. Traditionally, there would be various tests for children with rare diseases and no diagnosis. In contrast, looking at the genome, you can often see a genetic cause and reassure parents in managing the disease.”

Genmed was appointed under an NHS framework agreement and selected by the Trust to provide a laboratory managed service contract. This contract enables the Trust to save time and resources as Genmed manages certain aspects of the Trust's laboratory service, including management of its suppliers.

The managed service saves time and allows staff to concentrate on their laboratory work. Saskia Neuert, Senior Genetic Technologist at East GLH said, “The new way of working allows staff more time to concentrate on their clinical work, which is very helpful for workflow in the laboratory. As the health service recovers from COVID-19 and the number of outpatient appointments increase, having greater capacity to deal with increased throughput of samples is essential.” The genomics team will soon be utilising a dedicated online portal, which will provide further efficiencies. 

Genmed’s Chief Executive, Jonathan Wedgbury, said: “We are proud to be working with the team at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust and facilitating the provision and future development of their genomic laboratory service. The managed service contract allows their leading genetics team to concentrate on supporting improved patient outcomes, utilising the latest state-of-the-art products and technology.”

Above, L to R: East GLH Senior Genetic Technologists Margarita Kolchagova and Saskia Neuert, Operations Manager Colin Carr, Genmed's Business Development Manager Richard Massingham, and Georgina Corfield, East GLH Technical Lead.

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