NEW YORK – Illumina and Precision Health Research Singapore (PRECISE) said on Friday that they have inked a strategic partnership to sequence and analyze the genomes of 100,000 Singaporeans as part of a population study called SG100K.
The project is funded by a grant administered by the Singapore Ministry of Health's National Medical Research Council and supported by the National Research Foundation Singapore. It will involve 100,000 consented participants from Singapore, including those with Chinese, Malay, and Indian ethnicity. By involving research and clinical partners, the project will be able to monitor long-term health outcomes of participants in order to yield insights into Asian genomic diversity and Asian-specific diseases.
The three-year partnership will leverage Illumina’s experience and capabilities in large-scale genomic sequencing to build enterprise-grade data exchange platforms for secure data handling and sharing and develop artificial intelligence for genomics analysis, according to the collaborators.
Under the project, local sequencing companies in Singapore will have the opportunity to obtain training and certification in using Illumina’s platforms. Illumina has also appointed a local sequencing service provider, NovogeneAIT Genomics Singapore, to carry out genome sequencing for the SG100K project.
The partnership will also foster industry collaborations and create new career opportunities to catalyze growth in Singapore’s local biomedical technology, AI, and informatics sectors, according to PRECISE and Illumina.
“We are honored to partner with PRECISE to improve human health and believe this breakthrough study will serve as an important catalyst for growth in precision medicine capabilities throughout Southeast Asia,” Illumina Chief Commercial Officer Susan Tousi said in a statement. “Establishing partnerships such as this with PRECISE is an important part of our global investment decisions.”
"Singapore’s National Precision Medicine program will leave a lasting legacy with data-driven health solutions established on national platforms, to build a resilient and sustainable healthcare system," said John Chambers, CSO of PRECISE and principal investigator of SG100K, in a statement. "Our health data access, management, and storage will be benchmarked against international best practices and safeguards. We look forward to engaging Singaporeans, government, private industries, research, and health clusters to embark on a transformative journey for a healthier Singapore."
PRECISE is a business unit of the Consortium for Clinical Research and Innovation, Singapore (CRIS), a subsidiary of the Ministry of Health Holdings, which develops national clinical research and translation programs on behalf of the Ministry of Health Singapore.