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GenomeAsia 100K Kicks Off Effort to Sequence 100,000 Asian Individuals

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Non-profit research consortium GenomeAsia 100K announced today a plan to sequence 100,000 individuals from populations throughout South, North, and East Asia, with the goal of creating phased reference genomes for all major Asian ethnic groups.

"Advances in sequencing, computing, and mobile access mandates that we begin to study these underrepresented Asian populations," Nanyang Technological University (NTU) researcher and GenomeAsia 100K Scientific Chairman Stephan Schuster said in a statement.

GenomeAsia 100K said it intends to combine the sequencing data with microbiome, clinical, and phenotype information to enable deeper analysis of diseased and healthy individuals in the context of inferred local ancestries. Ultimately, the effort is expected to accelerate the development of precision medicine for Asian patients while building advanced analytical capabilities to manage big data sets.

In addition NTU, consortium participants include the Genomic Medicine Institute at Seoul National University, as well as life science firms Macrogen, Illumina, and MedGenome, which has agreed to contribute $10 million to the program.

"This is the only large population sequencing initiative that is a consortium of for-profit companies and academia," MedGenome CEO Sam Santhosh said in a statement. "Combining academic rigor with the aggressive timelines and execution focus of for-profit companies will ensure the success of this consortium."

GenomeAsia 100K said it is actively seeking additional members and scientific collaborators.