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Predictive Genomics Project Thermo Fisher Scientific and Taiwan Precision Medicine Initiative Want to Genotype One Million People

Source: Thermo Fisher Scientific

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Together with the Taiwan Precision Medicine Initiative (TPMI) Thermo Fisher Scientific plans to advance the next phase of the large-scale predictive genomics study and support its goal of genotyping one million people in Taiwan.

Thermo Fisher Scientific and the Taiwan Precision Medicine Initiative want to genotype one million people in Taiwan.
Thermo Fisher Scientific and the Taiwan Precision Medicine Initiative want to genotype one million people in Taiwan.
(Source: Public Domain / Pixabay)

In July TPMI reached the milestone of enrolling more than 500,000 participants in a genotyping campaign in July, making it the largest study of its kind outside of the United States and Europe.

Launched by Academia Sinica and a network of hospital systems throughout the country in 2019, the predictive genomics project aims to optimize the future of healthcare by enabling clinicians toward establishing future guidelines to manage patients at high risk for serious diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and other disorders as well as provide personalized drug prescription based on pharmacogenetic factors.

TPMI initially collaborated with Thermo Fisher to design a custom genotyping research array for identifying genetic factors that may increase the risk of certain diseases. In the next phase of the project, TPMI will work with Thermo Fisher to optimize the Axiom genotyping platform* with the aim of translating the results to clinical use and expanding the development of disease risk prediction algorithms for at least 20 common diseases relevant to Han Chinese people, approximately 18 percent of the global population.

“The healthcare community is working toward proving the clinical and economic value of predictive genomics to decrease risk of disease and improve health, and projects such as the Taiwan Precision Medicine Initiative promise to help distribute the benefits of precision medicine more broadly and equitably,” said Chad Carter, vice president and general manager of microarrays genetic solutions at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “We are proud to continue the Applied Biosystems legacy of supporting large-scale genomic research projects by joining TPMI on this important initiative.”

The Axiom custom array developed for TPMI contains more than 700,000 genetic markers selected to capture variants of interest. Initial TPMI analysis revealed 83 potentially clinically relevant genes associated with disease risk or drug reactions.

“Thermo Fisher’s Axiom custom genotyping platform provides best-in-class modular content, expert customization capabilities, and a cost-effective and scalable method for analyzing biomarkers of interest in the Han Chinese population,” said Dr. Pui-Yan Kwok, director of the Institute of Biomedical Science at the Academia Sinica and leader of TPMI. “By identifying genetic factors associated with disease risk, we can help establish a sustainable precision health ecosystem to improve health, reduce medical costs and fuel innovative research in Taiwan.”

Thermo Fisher currently supports several large-scale population studies globally, including UK Biobank, Finngen Precision Medicine Study, Qatar Genome Program and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Million Veteran Program (MVP). Each of these initiatives leverages the company’s Applied Biosystems Axiom genotyping arrays and customization services, which have helped to drive predictive genomic studies for more than a decade.


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