The US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Million Veterans Program receives its 125,000th complete human genome sequence from Personalis Inc.

As many clinical laboratory scientists know, gene sequencing technology continues to become faster, more accurate, and less expensive per whole human genome sequenced.

In February, Daily Dark reported that CustomInc. (NASDAQ:PSNL) delivered its 100,000th complete human genome sequence to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Million Veteran Program (VA MVP). Today, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based cancer genomics company surpassed that feat by delivering its sequence of 125,000 whole human genomes!

“This represents another important milestone for the program and for Personalis,” said John WestCEO of Personalis, in a Press release. “We congratulate the VA MVP on reaching this important milestone.

“We firmly believe that the research projects being conducted today will precision medicine in health systems in the future across a wide range of disease areas,” he added. This is a positive development for clinical laboratories, as personalized medicine services require a laboratory to sequence and interpret patient DNA.

Personalis was contracted by the US federal government to perform genetic research in 2012 and has delivered 50,000 genomes to VA MVP in the past twelve months.

Personalis and VA MVP researchers seek to better understand how genetic variants affect health. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, the VA enrolled veterans in the Million Veterans Program at 63 VA medical centers across the country. There are currently approximately 830,000 veterans enrolled in the company and the VA expects two million veterans to eventually enroll in the sequencing project.

“As a global leader in comprehensive genomic sequencing and analysis services, Personalis is uniquely positioned to lead these population-scale efforts and we are currently in the process of expanding our commercial operations internationally.” , added West.

According to the press release, “The VA MVP provides researchers with a rich resource of genetic, health, lifestyle and military exposure data gathered from questionnaires, medical records and genetic analysis. By combining this information into a single database, the VA MVP promises to advance knowledge about the complex links between genes and health.

NIH All of Us Research Program Supports Precision Medicine Goals Another U.S.-led genetic research project National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the Research program on all of us. Using personal health information provided by thousands of participants, NIH researchers seek to “learn how our biology, lifestyle, and environment affect health,” according to the program’s website.

“We are changing the research paradigm,” said Josh Denny, MD (above), managing director of the All of Us research program, in a NIH press release. “Participants are our most important partners in this effort, and we know many of them are eager to get their genetic results and learn more about the science they make possible. We strive to provide this valuable information responsibly,” he added. Clinical laboratories may soon see new precision medicine biomarkers emerging from this type of research. (Photo copyright: Vanderbilt University.)

The All of Us research program aims for at least one million US participants to participate in research. Researchers hope to help scientists uncover new insights into how biological, environmental and behavioral factors influence health, and learn how to tailor healthcare to patients’ specific medical needs, a key part of precision medicine. .

Project participants share personal information through a variety of methods, including surveys, electronic health records, and biological samples.

Better sampling of underrepresented communities

Since enrollment opened in 2018, more than 270,000 people have provided blood, urine and saliva samples to the All of Us research program. More than 80% of participants come from communities traditionally underrepresented in the world. biomedical research.

“We need programs like All of Us to create diverse datasets so that research results ultimately benefit everyone,” said Brad Ozenberger, Ph.D., director of the genomics program, all of us, in the NIH press release. “Too many groups have been excluded from research in the past, so much of what we know about genomics is based primarily on people of European ancestry. And often, genomic data is explored without critical context like l environment, the economy and other social determinants of health. We are trying to help change that, empowering the entire research community to help fill these knowledge gaps.

Analysis of the data collected by the All of Us research project includes both whole genome sequencing (WGS) and genotyping and takes a phased approach to returning genetic data to participants.

Participants initially receive data on their genetic ancestry and traits. This is followed later by health-related findings, such as how their genetic variants can increase the risk of certain diseases and how their DNA may affect their response to drug treatments.

Genetics researchers hope that programs like these will improve in vitro diagnostics and drug therapies. Genetic sequencing can also lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers for clinical laboratories.

—JP Schlingman

Related information

Personalis Announces Delivery of 125,000th Genome to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ Million Veteran Program

NIH’s All of Us research program returns first genetic results to participants

VA’s ‘Million Veterans Program’ research study receives its 100,000th human genome sequence

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