- Shabra Charity rises over €750,000 to purchase Gene Sequencing Equipment to honour businessman & horse trainer Oliver Brady, co-founder of the charity
- Over €2 million invested, 80% funded by Mater Hospital and Private Donation including Shabra Charity Foundation. 20% HSE funded
- Phase I complete for IEHG Genomic Directorate as part of an Academic Health Science Centre
- Repatriating services to Ireland, establishing rapid turnaround times and abolishing waiting lists
- Provides global and ground breaking opportunity for state of the art diagnosis and treatment of many inherited conditions, including Heart Disease (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome), ophthalmology and Cancer
Dublin: Friday, 15th September 2017; Today, the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, a part of the Ireland East Hospital Group, launched the opening of their new state-of-the-art Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Laboratory. The new Gene Sequencing Equipment was donated to the Mater Hospital by Shabra Charity keeping the promise of the late Oliver Brady, co-founder of the charity and popular businessman and horse trainer.
This world class Next Generation Gene Sequencing Laboratory will house gene sequence equipment enabling germline testing for the Irish population. Patients and families suffering from heart disease, blindness and cancer, specifically BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 cancer patients will benefit from genetic testing provided by this equipment and NGS Laboratory.
It is estimated that there were 250 young people under the age of 35 suffering from and dying of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) in Ireland every year. This facility can now help identify genetic changes underlying this syndrome and enables clinicians to help patients and their relatives to diagnosis and treat many of these patients with inherited conditions sooner.
Currently, for confirmatory testing of certain genetic conditions or inherited diseases, patients samples must be sent to laboratories across the world (US, Spain, UK, Germany) which means lengthy waiting times for results and significantly increased costs. Moreover, repatriation of these tests will enable Irish clinicians and researchers to develop and optimise new treatments. At the moment, at the Mater Hospital alone, at least 150 patients and relatives of people with inherited cardiac conditions are waiting for testing. The new laboratory will establish a more rapid turnaround time for tests and will abolish lengthy waiting lists.
Gordon Dunne CEO Mater commented, “The Mater University Hospital is very honoured to be in a position to provide such advanced diagnostic capability to the public patients of Ireland. Next Generation Sequencing technology will be critical in delivering more customised diagnosis and treatment pathways to patients which will be instrumental in achieving better clinical outcomes. The clinical potential of NGS technology is constantly evolving and the total impact of these significant philanthropic donations to the patients we serve remains to be realised.”
Mary Day, CEO of the Ireland East Hospital Group commented, “Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is arguably one of the most significant technological advances in the biological sciences of the last 30 years. Whilst widespread and routine use of whole genome sequencing is likely to be a few years away, there are immediate opportunities to implement next generation sequencing (NGS) for clinical use. The Ireland East Hospital Group is working towards an integrated NGS solution for the group and the country. The opening of the Next Generation Sequencing Laboratory at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, when combined with the NGS research capability at UCD and solid tumour molecular diagnostics service at St Vincent’s University Hospital are key steps in the delivery of a sequencing solution for the country. The new Mater service will provide immediate benefits for patients with inherited cardiovascular disorders and will boost research across a number of therapy areas.”
The NGS Laboratory
The Next Generation Sequencing Laboratory was built under the direction of Prof Peter O’Gorman. The process of designing and building the lab was completed in 18 months and was designed to international standards. It already hosts a NextSeq 500 sequencer and automated equipment for sample processing, donated by Shabra Charity Foundation.
The lab has ample bench and desk space, while the windows between the lab rooms facilitate bi-directional viewing of processing. The multi-functional lab, includes a conference room that will be used in the future for multi-disciplinary team meetings, as well as education courses. The lab has dedicated bio-informatics space, as well as biobanking capabilities
Prof. Peter O’Gorman is Director of Pathology and Consultant Haematologist, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital said, “The opening of this lab in the Mater Hospital is ground-breaking. It enables us to move from experience-based medicine to a precision medicine approach by identifying driver mutations in the NGS laboratory. Currently the Mater Hospital cancer genetic testing is funding by HSE. Our lab now has the capacity to introduce testing across multiple clinical specialties, including cardiology and ophthalmology. We can now capitalise on state-of-the-art NGS Technology to by deliver precision therapeutics and translate scientific observation into direct patient benefits in the shortest possible time at a significantly reduced cost.
Having the expertise and capability here in Ireland also offers tremendous research opportunities in leading the discovery of new, diagnostic testing and drug development strategies. It enables us to promote, attract and facilitate early phase clinical trials as well as the ability to mentor and train a future generation of Clinician – Scientist Specialists through our educational program.”
Oliver Brady Legacy – Shabra Charity
The realisation of this new diagnostic facility is the legacy and wish of businessman and horse trainer, Oliver Brady. It was his dying wish to ensure that the World Class Gene Sequencing Equipment would be donated through Shabra Charity as he felt that precision diagnostics will help detect patients at early stages to be treated either by medication, operation, radiology or chemotherapy. This would save many lives. Oliver battled with cancer and cardiac illnesses and was treated well by all of the consultants and he wanted to acknowledge his appreciation by donating the Gene Sequencing Equipment.
It is through his business partner and Co-Founder of the charity Rita Shah’s tireless fundraising efforts, which has realised his wishes and delivered on his promise to provide the equipment needed to open a first class gene sequencing lab in the last two and a half years. Oliver Brady passed away 3 years ago today.
“I am delighted to be standing here today to honour the memory of my dear friend and business partner Oliver Brady. I have a strong charity committee and there are so many people who supported me in my ambition to fulfil Oliver’s last wish. I would like to thank them all from the bottom of my heart. This is only phase one of fundraising activity and I thank those who so generously donated to ensure that we reached our first target, to open the genomics laboratory at the Mater on the 3rd anniversary of his passing,” commented Rita Shah, Co-Founder of Shabra Charity Foundation & Managing Director Shabra Group.
“We are deeply grateful to Rita Shah for her perseverance, unrelenting powers of persuasion and her devotion to realising Oliver’s dying wish, to deliver to the Mater Hospital a fully equipped state of the art genomic sequencing laboratory which will have a transgenerational impact through its ability to diagnosis and treat patients faster and more importantly prevent catastrophic outcomes for those with diseases such as Cancer and Heart Disease, “ added Prof. O’Gorman.