A major collaboration between Regeneron (U.S.), GSK (UK) and UK Biobank has made new genetic data of around 50,000 UK Biobank participants available to global health researchers, which offers an exceptional resource to aid in therapeutic discovery and for the enhancement of the understanding of human biology.
Sources close to the development said that the exome sequence data was generated at the RGC (Regeneron Genetics Center), and has also been connected to health records, imaging as well as other health-related data. Sources further added that Regeneron has also been heading a consortium of biopharma companies, including Alnylam, Abbvie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Takeda, Pfizer and Biogen, for completing the exome sequencing of the remaining 450,000 UK Biobank participants by the year 2020.
Aris Baras, Senior VP & the Head of Regeneron Genetics Center, was reported stating that this is the biggest open access resource of the exome sequence data that has been linked to major health records around the globe. He added that the resource contains actionable information and the center is striving to mine the data for new findings that are likely to innovate new medicines, develop patient care and accelerate science.
According to a press release issued by Regeneron, the first tranche of data, which has been consistent with UK Biobank’s founding principles, has now been integrated into the UK Biobank resource so as to be used by the global health research community. Reportedly, the additional tranches of the data are to be released over the upcoming two years. All the activities of sequencing and analyses are generally carried out with maximum respect and consideration for confidentiality ideals and participant privacy.
If reports are to be believed, the exome sequencing work also fosters other UK Biobank genetic analyses, including a whole genome sequencing of about 50,000 participants that is funded by UK Research & Innovation, as a part of the ISCF (Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund).