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Nicklaus Children's to Implement Rady WGS to Diagnose Sick Kids

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Nicklaus Children's Hospital is working with Rady Children's Institute and Sanford Health to implement genomic medicine protocols to help diagnose and treat children with unexplained illnesses.

Specifically, Nicklaus will offer whole-genome sequencing to children in two settings. Acutely ill patients with undetermined illnesses in Nicklaus' three intensive care units (neonatal, pediatric, and cardiac) will be eligible for rapid WGS testing. In addition, children with chronic undiagnosed medical conditions will receive WGS.

Under the partnership, Miami-based Nicklaus will send patient blood samples to Rady Children's Institute for Genomics Medicine in San Diego, where WGS, bioinformatics analysis, and initial clinical interpretation will take place. Nicklaus will then use the results to care for patients in Miami.

Both efforts are part of the Personalized Medicine Initiative at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, led by Jennifer McCafferty, director of Nicklaus Children's Research Institute.

Nicklaus and Rady are part of the Sanford Children's Genomic Medicine Consortium, which is committed to advancing children's medicine through genomics. Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas.

In 2014, Rady established its pediatric genomics center with a $120 million gift from Ernest Rady and family, and $40 million from the hospital. Stephen Kingsmore joined the center as its first president and CEO in late 2015, and the institute has since continually expanded its clinical genome sequencing capabilities.

Since July 2016, the institute has performed rapid WGS for more than 431 acutely ill children enrolled in its research studies. As of early April, approximately one-third of patients sequenced have received a genomic diagnosis, with 63 percent of those benefitting from an immediate change in clinical care, the institute said.