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Intermountain, Decode Genetics to Sequence 500K Genomes for Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Intermountain Healthcare has inked a collaboration with Amgen subsidiary Decode Genetics to whole-genome sequence 500,000 patients and study the underlying causes disease.

Within the population health study, called HerediGene, Intermountain and Decode will enroll and analyze the genomes of half-a-million individuals who receive care at the non-profit healthcare system serving Utah and Idaho. Consenting participants will be sequenced for free and their deidentified data will be used for research to improve understanding of the causes of disease and develop treatments. Participants will also have the chance to learn whether they harbor clinically actionable variants associated with diseases.

"While the 500,000 samples will be collected primarily from patients in Utah, the research is expected to have a global impact as medications, treatments, and healthcare innovations that can benefit patients universally are developed from the findings," Lincoln Nadauld, Intermountain’s chief of precision health, said in a statement.

Decode CEO Kári Stefánsson added in a statement that the collaboration will be important to the company's ongoing work to identify and validate new disease targets. In 2012, biopharmaceutical firm Amgen acquired Icelandic firm Decode for $415 million in order to use its cache of genomic and medical data to inform and expedite drug development efforts.  

"These potential discoveries [from the Intermountain collaboration] will allow Decode and Amgen to rapidly develop new medicines that reach the right disease targets," Stefánsson stated.

Read the premium article for more details on this collaboration.