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GATC Biotech Sequences Pediatric Brain Tumors for the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC)

In collaboration with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) / PedBrainTumor Project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research and German Cancer Aid

GATC Biotech to sequence samples from brain tumors in children for the world's largest cancer research project. The aim of the German PedBrainTumor Consortium within the ICGC is to develop innovative diagnostic methods and treatments in order to be able to provide children with therapies which have fewer side effects in future.

GATC Biotech sequences genomes from tumor tissues and the corresponding controls from healthy samples of the same patients. It uses sequencing technologies from Illumina Inc., including the new Illumina HiSeq 2000. This instrument is currently the most efficient sequencing system with up to 200 gigabases per run. The complete genomes are sequenced with a 30-fold coverage to ensure reliable data assessment. The data will be supplied to the DKFZ in fall 2010. The order value is Euro 750,000.

"Brain tumors are the main cause of cancer deaths in childhood. Therapies with few side effects are urgently required to make it easier for the children to bear the taxing treatment. The PedBrainTumor Project will bring us a great deal further forward in the development of such therapies. GATC Biotech proved itself to be a reliable sequencing partner in the pilot phase of the project and so we are now continuing that successful collaboration," comments Professor Peter Lichter, project leader and spokesman of the German ICGC group.

"We are fully aware of the importance of this project and our responsibility. We are very proud to be allowed to support the DKFZ within the framework of the PedBrainTumor project," says Peter Pohl, CEO of GATC Biotech.

The PedBrainTumor Consortium, a German contribution to the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), will receive Euro 15 million from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe e.V.) over five years. The project is managed by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and will investigate the molecular genetic causes of pediatric brain tumors. The scientists expect the results to provide starting points for new innovative therapies.

About GATC Biotech -
GATC Biotech is Europe's leading service provider of DNA sequencing and bioinformatics for industry and academic research. For two decades the company has been developing comprehensive solutions for DNA sequence analysis - for single samples up to whole genome, transcriptome and metagenome projects. With a total of 15 sequencing instruments (ABI 3730xl, Roche GSFLX, Illumina Genome Analyzer IIx and HiSeq 2000) GATC has the largest commercially available sequencing capacity in Europe with ten terabases per year. Headquartered in Constance, the company has more than 100 employees and subsidiary companies in Great Britain, France and Sweden. GATC is ISO and Illumina CSPro certified.

About German Cancer Research Center -
The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) is the largest biomedical research facility in Germany and a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. More than 2,000 members of staff, including 850 scientists, study the mechanisms of carcinogenesis and work on the compilation of cancer risk factors. They provide the bases for the development of new approaches to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancers. Furthermore, the staff of the Cancer Information Service (KID) inform cancer sufferers, relatives and anyone who is interested about this endemic disease. The Center receives 90 percent of its funding from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research and 10 percent from the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg.

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