One of Newcastle University’s spin-out companies, NewGene Ltd, can help people find out if they are genetically predisposed towards certain diseases – in less time and at lower cost than standard genetic testing.
Breast cancer is one of the many areas where NewGene’s next generation sequencing technologies are proving effective. NewGene’s high throughput service detects BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutations that increase the risk of hereditary cancer.
Patients who discover a mutation are able, along with relatives, to consider prevention strategies and timely life-preserving therapies.
The links between Newcastle University and NewGene Ltd are important to the company’s success story. There is overlap in personnel between the two organisations; Dr Jonathan Coxhead is currently seconded on a full-time basis to be NewGene’s Senior Scientist. Another University employee, David Huntley, is serving as the company’s Chief Executive.
In addition NewGene Ltd benefits from Newcastle University’s high-tech equipment. It is able to employ two highly advanced, next generation equipment platforms that have been purchased by the University.
NewGene also has strong links with the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospital Trust. The Trust is a part owner of the company alongside the University. NewGene’s Scientific Director, Dr Ann Curtis, was formerly head of Newcastle’s NHS Molecular Genetics Laboratory.
NewGene is an example of how leading-edge expertise and equipment, originating in Newcastle, are helping improve lives via a self-sustaining business model. Spin-out companies are one of the ways that Newcastle University is bridging the gap between the academic and commercial worlds.
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