Illumina Partners with UK’s Largest Health Research Program to Transform the Prevention, Detection and Treatment of Diseases
Partnership with Our Future Health will deliver genotyping platform to help predict a particular individual’s risk for cancer, cardiovascular, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases
CAMBRIDGE, UK – Mar. 10, 2022 -- Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) today announced its partnership with Our Future Health, the UK’s largest ever health research program, to develop a custom genotyping array that will deliver genetic analysis of DNA samples from up to five million adult volunteers. The data will be paired with lifestyle and medical history data to generate polygenic risk scores which can be used to help predict a particular individual’s risk for cancer, cardiovascular, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases.
“We are delighted to partner with Our Future Health to apply our genomics expertise and data analysis capabilities to the world’s largest population program to date,” said Paula Dowdy, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Illumina for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. “Illumina looks forward to delivering a highly sensitive and diverse genotyping array platform that will benefit not only patients in the UK but worldwide as the information is shared globally, helping to ensure future generations can enjoy good health for longer.”
Genotyping arrays identify associations between genetic variants and diseases to create maps of the unique variation within populations. Such arrays enable researchers to screen large sets of DNA samples and look for genetic signatures such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and structural changes in DNA. Arrays can be designed to home in on regions of the genome relevant to specific research interests.
The Our Future Health array will be designed to improve coverage across the multiple ethnicities found in the UK and the initial focus will be on genetic variations within four principal ethnic groups of the population including European, South Asian, East Asian and African. The array will also focus on genetic variations that underpin different blood types, the immune system, and variants that dictate a person’s response to medications.
Illumina won the competitive tender to design and produce the array platforms based on several criteria including:
• use of Illumina’s new, high performance 48 sample beadchip which can deliver a high throughput workflow capable of processing 6,000 DNA samples per day at the peak of the project.
• ability to iterate the platform over the four-year program based on learnings from the program.
• provision of a dedicated bioinformatics support team to create tailored bioinformatics analysis tools.
Data from the array will facilitate the calculation of polygenic risks scores for all five million participants. These risk scores will then be used to inform scientific research as well as be returned to the participants with preliminary healthcare guidance to help inform potential therapeutic interventions or recommended lifestyle changes.
Use of forward-looking statements
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