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Guerilla Tea & CRUK

 

CANCER RESEARCH UK APPOINTS GUERILLA TEA TO BUILD WORLD-FIRST MOBILE PHONE GAME TO SEEK CANCER CURES

CANCER RESEARCH UK has hired games and software development agency Guerilla Tea to build the charity’s first mobile phone game to pinpoint new genetic causes of cancer – accelerating potential new cures.

The agency will work closely with Cancer Research UK’s scientists to develop a game, working title GeneGame, that anyone with a smart phone and five minutes to spare can play to analyse Cancer Research UK’s gene data. The game will launch in the UK later this year.

Dundee-based Guerilla Tea creates mobile, handheld and online games. It was appointed by Cancer Research UK with help from games expert Channel 4’s games commissioner, Colin Macdonald. Cancer Research UK selected Guerilla Tea because it most closely fulfilled the brief to develop a game format that is both fun to play but simultaneously feeds highly accurate analysis of variations in gene data to Cancer Research UK’s scientists.

Guerilla Tea will consolidate the expertise and formats generated at Cancer Research UK’s GameJam event in March 2013. The event brought together the charity’s world-leading scientists alongside over fifty ‘hackers’ – computer programmers, gamers, graphic designers and other specialists from Amazon Web Services, Facebook, Google and games technology academics from City University London and Omnisoft.

Amy Carton, citizen science lead for Cancer Research UK, said: “We were very impressed by the initial format produced by Guerilla Tea and we’re excited about seeing the final result.

“We’re right at the start of a world-first initiative that will result in a game that we hope hundreds of thousands of people across the globe will want to play over and over again and, at the same time, generate robust scientific data analysis.

“Combining complicated cancer research data and gaming technology in this way has never been done before and it’s certainly no mean feat but we’re working with the best scientific and technology brains in the business, we’re ready for the challenge and believe the results will have global impact and speed up research.”

Mark Hastings, CEO of Guerilla Tea, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been selected by Cancer Research UK for this project. We’ve always believed games technology has the potential to provide huge benefits to other sectors and this project will be a wonderful example of that. We’re very excited to get started and through our work look forward to helping speed up discoveries that one day might lead to new cancer treatments.”

Cancer Research UK’s scientists are investigating new ways to treat patients in a more targeted way based on their genetic fingerprint – but this research produces terabytes upon petabytes of data requiring analysis. Advances in technology help our scientists identify new causes and drivers of cancer, but much of the data must be analysed by the human eye rather than machines – which can take years.

‘GeneGame’ is the charity’s second project set up to harness the power of the public to help analyse these colossal amounts of data, with the aim to drastically speed up research.

The first initiative, Cell SliderTM, launched in October 2012 and allows the public to classify archived breast cancer samples, helping Cancer Research UK scientists to better understand breast cancer risk and response to treatment.

Dr Joanna Reynolds, director of science information, Cancer Research UK, said “Over 200,000 people have already visited our CellSlider site, from over 100 countries, making more than 1.6 million classifications. In just three months, citizen scientists had analysed data that would typically take our scientists 18 months to do and early indications of the accuracy are promising. With GeneGame we are being bolder, braver and bigger and we hope that by the end of the year we’ll have a game that not only is fun to play but will play a crucial role in developing new cancer cures sooner – ultimately saving lives.”

For media enquiries please contact Emma Rigby on  020 3469 8300 or, out-of-hours, the duty press officer on  07050 264 059.

Notes to Editors:

About Guerilla Tea

Founded in 2011 by Mark Hastings, Matthew Zanetti, Charlie Czerkawski and Alex Zeitler, Guerilla Tea is an award winning Dundee based Games and Software Development Company. Focusing primarily on web and mobile platforms Guerilla Tea develops products for the global market.

The Guerilla Tea studio is built around a dedicated in-house team of highly skilled dynamic developers that draws upon the best local talent to bolster internal resources when necessary. Utilising the highest level of development standards Guerilla Tea mixes creativity, innovation and passion and strives to offer risk-free development solutions across multiple platforms covering hundreds of handsets and multiple languages.

For Further Information about Guerilla Tea please call  01382 523 715 or visitwww.guerillatea.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

 About Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research
  • Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
  • The charity’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call  0300 123 1861 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org. Follow us on Twitterand Facebook

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