London clinic for sufferers with genetically complicated ailments receives donation of US$ three million

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The Archie and Irene Verspeeten Clinical Genome Center at the London Health Sciences Center (LHSC) has received another generous donation from its namesake.

Archie Verspeeten and his late wife Irene have donated $3 million to the center, which treats patients with genetically complex diseases, it was announced on Wednesday. That’s in addition to the $3 million the local couple previously donated to the facility.

“Through philanthropic visionaries like Archie and Irene Verspeeten, changes are possible that bring hope for a brighter future for patients with genetically complex diseases,” said John MacFarlane, President and CEO of the London Health Sciences Foundation. “The Archie and Irene Clinical Genome Center has already had a profound impact on patients at the LHSC, and with this transformative gift it will continue to do so for years to come.”

The Verspeeten Clinical Genome Centre, a state-of-the-art genetic diagnostics center, opened in October 2020. It combines translational research and clinical practice. It initially focused on genome sequencing for pancreatic cancer.

The newly donated funds will expand genetic testing, clinical trials and studies, and expand the genetic profiling offered to other known biomarkers, as well as expand laboratory infrastructure and epigenomic testing capabilities

This could potentially lead to additional treatment options for patients.

“I want nothing more than to eradicate cancer, and I think this center has already taken us one step closer to that,” said Verspeeten. “However, there is still a lot to do. I hope that the Verspeeten Clinical Genome Center will continue to help patients with genetic diseases live longer, more fulfilling and happier lives.”

Verspeeten’s wife and son Alan died of cancer.

Expanded testing at the center means patients with brain, blood, breast and ovarian cancer can complete genome sequencing and enter clinical trials.