After the completion of the human genome project and the rapid accumulation of human disease data, scientists have unlocked the core secrets of humans, and found the different genome sequences between healthy people and patients. Diagnose, prediction and medication guidelines for the disease by detecting the abnormal gene sequences is the scientist's way of fortune-telling.
Under the support of the National Core Facility for Biopharmaceuticals program (MOST, R.O.C.), Prof. Yu, Sung-Liang and his team established the Pharmacogenomics Laboratory (TR6). The long-term goal for the core lab is to establish a world-class laboratory for both supporting "Basic Research of Functional Genomics Research" and developing "Clinical Applications of Precision Medicine." Through three strategies: 1. Establishing advanced and comprehensive functional genomics platforms, 2. Providing customized medical genetic test and report, 3. Improving Taiwan's biotechnology industry value chain with gene expression and the sequencing services. In addition, this lab is also the only medical certification laboratory (ISO15189 medical laboratory certification) in the domestic academia, and we are providing one-stop service from design and development to medical certification for domestic/foreign biotechnology industries and the pharmaceutical companies with the “clinical standard” genetic tests, assisting IVD development and clinical trials. We are powerful genomic technical support in Taiwan for both basic research and industrial development.
Contribution of this facility is as follows:Social responsibility
This core facility has provided genetic testing for EGFR TKI for more than one-third of lung cancer patients in Taiwan since 2011, and Professor Su, Kang-Yi, another PI of the lab, developed ISO15189-certified Mass spectrometer (MALDI-TOF MS) mutated gene detection platform since 2013, has provided more than 25,000 gene test reports to date. Since the EGFR gene test was included in national health insurance in September 2019, the laboratory has stopped the EGFR gene testing service in June 2019. We completed the phased task of improving the accuracy of Taiwan's genetic testing, and transferred R&D energy into other gaps in gene testing. Now we are providing bRaf gene test and NGS multi-gene test report for solid tumor to assist clinicians in treatment.
Promotion of economic
TR6 lab cooperates with many domestic/ foreign pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology factories to develop the diagnostic methods and companion diagnosis in cancer drug indications, for example,
1. Cooperate with the local biotechnology company to develop the first liquid biopsy IVD of EGFR T790M in Taiwan for the 3rd TKI of lung cancer, and apply for TFDA registration.
2. Cooperate with local instrument manufacturer to develop integrated cancer multi-gene IVD on Taiwan's self-developed digital PCR machine.
3. Cooperate with international pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology factories, such as AstraZeneca and Roche Diagnostics, in genetic testing development for cancer immunotherapy
Improving academic development
1. We participated in the international “cancer moonshot” project in 2017 with Academia Sinica, specializing in the sequencing of the cancer genome, which will quickly shorten the gap in cancer research and precision medicine between Taiwan and world.
2. TR6 lab is receiving the " Thyroglobulin Mass Spectrometry" technology from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) CLIA laboratory as a docking unit for pioneering cancer protein markers.
3. We participated in the five-year project of the Population-Based Cancer Research-Emerging Cancer Screening Study: Screening for High-risk Groups of Non-Smoking Lung Cancer in Taiwan by Low-Dose Computer Tomography since 2014. We found risk factors of Taiwan's lung cancer are significantly different to European and American though this study.
4. Join MOE ICP for NAPPA technology transfer from the University of Arizona (ASU). Hoping for establish a new biotechnology industry chain in Taiwan.
Using genetic test as a companion diagnosis has become the standard process for the treatment of many diseases. The TR6 laboratory is committed to the 3H development of "High accuracy, High added value and High demands" genetic testing. With the support of the Ministry of Science and Technology, TR6 will continue to contribute to the health of the Taiwanese people and the Taiwan biotechnology industry.
Department of Life Sciences, MOST