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Copenhagen facility to map Danish genome

Four universities and three companies to share DKK 86 million grant from advanced technology fund. Chinese gene sequencers to be based in Copenhagen

A large grant from a Danish technology fund is to help develop a cancer vaccine and map the human genome.

This is according to a news release from the University of Copenhagen, that is co-operating with four other universities and three companies on the project.

The University of Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Aarhus University and Aalborg University will co-operate with Bavarian Nordic A/S, Beijing Genomics Institute Europe A/S and Genomic Expression ApS, according to the release.

Vaccine against cancer

DKK 86 million from the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation (Højteknologifonden) over five years will contribute to a budget that will total DKK 170 million for the new research centre which will be called the Danish Platform for Large-scale Sequencing and Bioinformatics.

»We want to gather the best bioinformatics and genome researchers in one place in order to create a genome sequencing centre of the highest international standard,« says University of Copenhagen Prorector Thomas Bjørnholm, who led efforts to secure the funding.

»Our vision is to create a Danish gene sequencing and bioinformatics facility that will allow us to map Danes’ genes. We hope that it will be possible to identify who is at risk of developing diseases like cancer. One of the goals is to create a vaccine against cancer,« he says.

China to outsource to Denmark

According to the release, the Beijing Genomics Institute, the world’s largest gene sequencing centre, will contribute DKK 60 million to help establish the Copenhagen facility.

»The grant from the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation makes it possible for BGI Europe to be established in Denmark. This has an enormous impact on disease prevention research and the University’s collaboration with the drug and food industries« Bjørnholm says.

See more information about the new project in the press release here.

miy@adm.ku.dk

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