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Illumina, Henry Ford Health Partner on Genomic Testing for Cardiovascular Patients

NEW YORK – Illumina and Henry Ford Health said on Tuesday that they have launched a partnership to study the impact of whole-genome sequencing in cardiovascular disease.

Under the terms of the deal, Henry Ford's centers for precision medicine and genomic medicine in Detroit will conduct implementation and clinical studies to investigate the use of next-generation sequencing tests, including whole-genome sequencing, in cardiac care. The partners are also launching CardioSeq, a 1,500-patient study that will use a WGS-based test developed by Illumina to create a "comprehensive cardiovascular genomic profile." Financial details were not disclosed.

"This study is the first of several that will measure the impact of whole-genome sequencing in patients with cardiovascular disease," David Lanfear, VP of clinical and translational research at Henry Ford Health and the study's lead clinician, said in a statement. "What we're initially most interested in is the rate of the change in medical management due to the genetic information, but eventually we will be looking at differences in cost and clinical outcomes, as well."

The partnership could yield data to support the use of whole-genome sequencing in treating and managing cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death both in the US and worldwide. It builds on Illumina's other partnerships in the disease space, including a cardiac testing alliance formed with Fulgent Genetics, Invitae, GeneDx, and PerkinElmer Genomics.

Illumina's WGS test will be used to screen for 200 genetic causes of cardiovascular disease as well as the American College of Medical Geneticists and Genomics' recommended secondary findings genes, which are associated with known inherited conditions for which interventions are available to mitigate the onset or severity of the clinical outcome. The test also returns pharmacogenetic results, based on US Food and Drug Administration and Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium guidelines.

As part of the study, genetic counselors will report any inherited disease findings to participating patients and offer them additional education. Pharmacists will review all pharmacogenetic findings and make indicated recommendations. The findings will also be shared with the patients' physicians. 

Henry Ford researchers aim to complete testing for all 1,500 participants in 2024. With the patients' consent, samples and clinical data will also be used by the partners for discovery efforts in genomic medicine.

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