Clinical OMICS

MAR-APR 2018

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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Page 32 of 51 March/April 2018 Clinical OMICs 31 analysis, and embarked on a study to MRI the brains, hearts, abdomens, and bones of 100,000 participants." 'Everyone's Ready' "From their team to our team, every- one's ready to get to about 200,000 by the end of this year," Baras said. "Then, we'll be wrapping up with the biggest tranche, and completing all 500,000 by the end of next year." Sequencing will be carried out using RGC's Illumina NovaSeq 6000 sequencers, to which the Center began transitioning last year from NovaSeq 2500 instruments. The consortium includes AbbVie, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Astra- Zeneca, Biogen, and Pfizer. Each has agreed to invest $10 million to join the pre-competitive sequencing project. The five may be joined over time by additional biopharma partners that have expressed interest. "Historically, Alnylam has had great success choosing targets that have human genetic validation, which gives us a greater probability of success and high confidence that a specified target will be beneficial in a given human disease," said Kevin Fitzgerald, Ph.D., senior vice president of research at Alnylam. "Access to this one-of-a- kind human genetic data set will also provide in silico natural history data for new and existing programs, con- tributing to the sustainability of our RNAi therapeutics product engine and pipeline." The UK Biobank, Fitzgerald added, is a part of Alnylam's overall strategy to leverage human genetic and pheno- typic data across all aspects of its drug development efforts. Data generated by the consortium will be coupled with the participants' detailed and de-identified medical and health records—including mea- sures of brain and heart activity and body imaging—creating a resource designed to link human genetic vari- ations to human biology and disease. The UK Biobank originally targeted 2022 as the completion date for the project. Regeneron first announced the UK Biobank sequencing project in March 2017 as a three- to five-year effort that would also involve GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Regeneron and GSK agreed to invest undisclosed amounts toward sequencing the first 50,000 exomes from the UK Biobank. But in December 2017, GSK contrib- uted £40 million (about $56 million) to launch a new genomic research part- (continued on next page) Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is set to complete exome sequencing of the first 50,000 of the U.K. Biobank's 500,000 samples by the end of March through its Regeneron Genet- ics Center (RGC) subsidiary. The company and five biopharma partners have committed $50 million to a consortium created to sequence the exomes of all 500,000 contributors of samples to the UK Biobank by the end of 2019.

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