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PMGB - Development of mechatronic, genomic and bioinformatics platforms for precision oncology


“PMGB - Development of mechatronic, genomic and bioinformatics platforms for precision oncology" aims to integrate a number of industrial and academic activities into a logical workflow to facilitate the development of Oncology Molecular Diagnostics Centres in the country, particularly in Southern Italy, and to promote the creation of diagnostic networks for the selection and treatment of cancer patients with innovative therapies based on the mutational status of specific biomarkers.
The project aims to pursue the following lines of research and development:

  1. a) Production of mechatronic liquid (reagents/samples) dispensing devices. This activity can be useful for automating processing of the numerous samples that need to be analysed in the reference centres.
  2. b) Development and validation, with the support of leading international companies, of next-generation sequencing multigene panels able to cover all driver genomic alterations at diagnosis and resistance-inducing genetic alterations at progression in the most common forms of solid tumours. Furthermore, bioinformatics algorithms for the analysis of genomic data will be developed and optimized.
  3. c) implementation of a software package for the management of Molecular Diagnostics Reference Centres and network systems with the aim of developing a unified virtual laboratory (meta-lab) in the southern regions.

Financial Resources
The 42-month project was funded by the NOP Research and Innovation 2014-2020 under Axis II “Thematic Projects”, Action “Clusters”, which finances industrial research and experimental development projects in the 12 specialization areas identified by the National Research Programme (NRP) 2015-2020, in particular in the Health” specialization area. 
For the implementation of this initiative, a budget of 1,906,523.97 euro was allocated to the following beneficiaries forming the public-private partnership:

  • Istituto Diagnostico Varelli Srl;
  • “G. D’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara
  • MEDISDIH Soc. Cons. a.r.l._- Regional Mechatronic District and Digital Innovation Hub in Apulia
  • SIM NT Srl

Impact on the Territory
The project represents a growth opportunity for central and southern Italy, especially in terms of employment, and aims at the competitive repositioning of disadvantaged regions by:

- creating regional development opportunities, encouraging the creation of real “innovation laboratories”, within which new knowledge, talent, innovative entrepreneurship, opportunities to facilitate the attraction of skills into the country can be cultivated;

- promoting collaboration among different players (universities, research organizations, companies, etc.) providing mutual benefits in terms of information, production, business and products that can produce beneficial effects in terms of results;

- promoting the development of new professional skills required by the labour market through the implementation of human capital measures aimed at training high-profile professionals, also aimed at start-ups and young businesses.

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