A collaboration between DNAnexus, the Sutter Health network, and the University Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) aims to improve personalized medicine in multiple sclerosis (MS) through the first large-scale clinical genomic research study, the companies announced.
The network has the goal of improving screening, diagnosis, and treatment of complex diseases like MS by collecting large-scale clinical data.
The genomic study will analyze anonymous data provided by scientists at the Sutter Health Center for Precision Medicine, a not-for-profit health system, from more than 3,000 MS patients using the DNAnexus Apollo Platform.
“Collaborating with DNAnexus allows access to cutting-edge bioinformatics tools to better understand our clinically meaningful ‘big data.’” Gregory Tranah, PhD, director of Sutter’s Center for Precision Medicine, said in a press release.
“This is an important step to advance precision medicine efforts across Sutter and, ultimately, to improve treatments for people with MS in our community and the millions of people affected with the disease worldwide,” Tranah added.
The first phase of the study will include electronic health record data, patient-reported outcomes, imaging data, and blood samples from 500 MS patients, starting in May. The study also will incorporate data on patients’ whole-exome sequencing — sequencing data limited to the protein-coding fragment of the DNA (the exomes) — performed by the UPMC and analyzed by researchers at DNAnexus.
The combined data will serve to assess clinical and genomic features that are associated with MS subtypes, symptoms, disability progression, and response to therapies, among others.
“Our fully automated, CLIA/CAP-certified center provides the environment to generate high-quality genomic data for Sutter Health and its patients,” said Annerose Berndt, PhD. Berndt is vice president of Clinical Genomics and director of the UPMC Genome Center.
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