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NextCode Health, Simons Foundation Partner to Increase Access to Autism Data

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – NextCode Health and the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) said today they have formed a partnership to help speed sequencing-related autism research.

Under the partnership, the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC), sequence and phenotypic datasets from nearly 2,600 families, will be available on NextCode Exchange, a newly launched genomic data analysis and collaboration service.

The SSC dataset is designed to support the discovery of rare, de novo genetic events that increase risk of developing autism spectrum disorders. The collection consists of 2,600 'simplex' families, all of which have one child with autism, unaffected parents, and usually at least one unaffected sibling. Sequencing of SSC data has already yielded 100 candidate genes for autism.

"Early analyses of this rich dataset have been very informative, but we know that there is a great deal more still to be learned from it," Alan Packer, senior scientist at SFARI said in a statement. "Providing the SSC data to the broader autism research community in this format is another way SFARI can pursue its mission of driving rapid scientific progress in the field of autism."

By making the data available on NextCode Exchange, "our aim is … to make the SSC even more accessible and valuable, enabling even more scientists to use it and … to accelerate discovery while saving on the time and expense of having to copy and send raw sequence," Jeffrey Gulcher, president, chief scientific officer and co-founder of NextCode, added.

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