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The Alliance for Genomic Discovery welcomes Bristol Myers Squibb, GSK, and Novo Nordisk

publication date: Jan 30, 2024
author/source: Illumina, Inc.


Expanded pharma engagement enhances AGD's ability to develop multiomic dataset

Illumina Inc., a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, in collaboration with Nashville Biosciences, LLC (NashBio), a leading clinical and genomic data company and wholly owned subsidiary of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), has announced three new members of the Alliance for Genomic Discovery (AGD).

Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), GSK and Novo Nordisk join founding member organizations AbbVie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer, and Merck. Together the pharma members will co-fund the whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of 250,000 DNA samples and have access to the resulting data for use in drug discovery and therapeutic development.

"Together with NashBio and the now eight member organizations in the Alliance for Genomic Discovery, we will generate and analyze more genomic, multimodal phenotypic, and multiomic data in a turnkey manner," said Joydeep Goswami, chief financial officer and chief strategy and corporate development officer of Illumina. "This rich dataset will enable the discovery of highly actionable therapeutic targets and improve the speed, probability of success, and efficiency of the discovery and development process."

In 2023, AGD completed whole-genome sequencing of approximately 86,000 of the planned 250,000 DNA samples from VUMC's BioVU® biobank, including the initial diverse ancestry cohort of 35,000 individuals primarily of African ancestry. The AGD members are applying innovative, large-scale analysis tools to the WGS data to help identify disease associations and drug targets for intervention.

"We are thrilled to welcome these latest members to AGD and to work with all of these organizations to advance the study of the genome and improve human health," said Leeland Ekstrom, PhD, chief executive officer of NashBio. "With this initial phase of the alliance now well underway, we are excited to explore possible future additions of other multiomic data that will expand this incredible resource."


About Illumina

Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Our focus on innovation has established us as a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical, and applied markets. Our products are used for applications in the life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture, and other emerging segments.


About NashBio

Nashville Biosciences, LLC (NashBio), a wholly owned subsidiary of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), was created to harness the Medical Center's extensive genomic and bioinformatics resources for drug and diagnostics discovery and development. Leveraging Vanderbilt University innovation, NashBio serves as a commercial interface between outside companies and the formidable research capabilities housed within VUMC, including BioVU®, one of the world's most comprehensive genetic databases linked to de-identified medical records with years of longitudinal clinical data. This unique asset is one of the largest and highest quality of its kind, providing an opportunity to guide R&D activity in biotech, pharma, diagnostics, medical devices, and other life sciences applications.




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