Belgian hospitals gain advanced analytics for cancer and congenital diseases

Press Release

Published on 01/19/2016

5 min read

  • Five leading Belgian hospitals join Sophia Genetics’ genomics platform and become members of the world’s largest clinical genomics community
  • Access to genetic diagnosis in Belgium promises to dramatically expand with better and faster diagnosis of thousands of Belgian patients suffering from genomics disorders
  • Sophia Genetics reinforces its footprint in Belgium, following a $15 million financing round led by Belgian entrepreneur Marc Coucke, founder of Omega Pharma

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, 19th January 2016 – Sophia Genetics, the global leader in Data Driven Medicine (DDM), today announced that five prestigious Belgian hospitals have become members of its clinical genomics community, the leading group in the world for molecular diagnosis.

The five healthcare institutions are:

  1. AZ Sint Lucas in Ghent
  2. HistoGeneX in Antwerp
  3. Institute of Pathology and Genetics in Gosselies
  4. Saint-Luc University Hospital in Woluwe
  5. Universitair Ziekenhuis in Brussels

Sophia Genetics will provide these hospitals with leading analytics solutions to diagnose patients of some cancers and inherited conditions faster and more accurately. Its platform, Sophia DDM™, uses the most sophisticated machine learning and mathematical algorithms, to give clinicians the most accurate, speedy and cost-effective means of offering genomic analysis of samples to their patients.

These hospitals and laboratories belong to the national network of genetic centres or pathology laboratories managing genomic information in Belgium. As participants in Sophia Genetics’ clinical genomics community, they and their patients will benefit from the most advanced algorithms to detect even subtle genomic alterations in cancer genes such as base substitutions, copy number alterations, short insertions, deletions and rearrangements.

In an increasing number of cases, early detection of such mutations can help oncologists recommend targeted and more effective treatments to their patients. Furthermore, early detection of these mutations can highlight the potential risk of higher susceptibility to develop hereditary cancers. Angelina Jolie’s personal history, disclosed in the news in March 2015, highlighted the benefits of such approach to prevent ovarian and breast cancers. For some of these Belgian healthcare institutions, Sophia will provide companion diagnostics for products such as AstraZeneca’s drug and PARP inhibitor Olaparib.

Customers’ anecdotes:

  • Koen Jacobs, AZ Sint Lucas, Ghent: “The Sophia Genetics’ DDM™ platform provides us with highly reliable and flexible NGS data analytics for confident variant calling in the oncology setting. Its continuous improvement and community-driven classifications are the major advantages of the DDM™ platform for our local NGS output.”
  • Michael Verelst, Dataflow Manager DNA/RNA at HistoGeneX, Antwerp: “At HistoGeneX, we are committed to our quality framework, enhancing the patients’ life with our expertise and best practices. With the Sophia DDM™ platform, we are able to guarantee the best and trust worthiest results in one of the most complex cancer related fields that Next Generation Sequencing is today.”
  • Pascale Hilbert, Head of Molecular Biology at the Institute of Pathology and Genetics, Gosselies: “Sophia Genetics basically finds every genomic alteration that is to be found, so I can only say I am very impressed by their Sophia DDM™ platform.”
  • Nicolas Simonis, Bioinformatics Scientist at the Institute of Pathology and Genetics, Gosselies: “We are still very impressed by the quality of the results and the efficiency of the Sophia DDM™; and we are not that easily impressed…”
  • Jean-Francois Vanbellinghen, Operational Manager – Molecular Biology Platform at Saint-Luc University Hospital, Woluwe: “Sophia DDM™ is actually the best analytics platform we can work with to improve NGS diagnostics in our Institute. We also appreciate the fact that it allows us to benefit from the classification of rare variants by the Sophia DDM™ community. “
  • Pierre Lefesvre, Universitair Ziekenhuis, Brussels: “Sophia Genetics is offering access to large data set and medical expertise, both are absolutely essential for bioinformatics validation in pathology diagnostics.”

Sophia Genetics’ CEO and founder Jurgi Camblong commented “We see a great momentum right now in the adoption of our technology in Belgium. Prestigious healthcare institutions there will be able to leverage our advanced machine-learning based algorithms to diagnose thousands of Belgian patients each year, which will help them prevent cancer in cases of hereditary predispositions, and act better and faster against declared solid tumours. With Sophia DDM™, Belgium hospitals and labs now have access not only to the most advanced genomic data analytics algorithms but also to the knowledge gathered on Sophia DDM™ through the world’s largest clinical genomics community.”

These partnerships are expected to pave the way for cancer care transformation in Belgium and a regional shift towards personalised medicine as additional hospitals should soon perform genomics tests based on Next Generation DNA Sequencing.

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