The Alliance for Genomic Discovery is pleased to welcome Bristol Myers Squibb GSK and Novo Nordisk.

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publication date: Jan 30, 2024


author/source: Illumina, Inc.

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

Illumina Inc., an international leader in DNA sequencing, array-based technologies, and Nashville Biosciences, LLC, a leading clinical data company, and a wholly owned subsidiary to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has announced the addition of three new members to its Alliance for Genomic Discovery.

Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), GSK and Novo Nordisk join founding member organizations AbbVie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer, and Merck. The pharma members will fund the whole-genome sequence (WGS) of 250.000 DNA samples. They will also have access to data from the WGS for drug discovery and 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 is going to enable the discovery highly actionable therapeutic target and improve the efficiency, speed, and probability of success of the discovery and research 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 use innovative, large scale analysis tools on the WGS data in order to identify disease associations and drug target for intervention.

Leeland ekstrom, PhD., NashBio chief executive officer said, “We are excited to welcome these newest members to AGD and work with all of them to advance study of the genome and improve the health of humans.” “With the initial phase of this alliance now well underway we are excited to explore future additions of multiomic data which will expand this incredible resource.”


About Illumina

Illumina improves the health of humans by unlocking the genome’s power. Our focus on innovation has made us a global leader for DNA sequencing and array-based technology, serving customers from the research, clinical and applied markets. Our products are used in applications for the life sciences, oncology and reproductive health, agriculture and other emerging segments.


About NashBio

Nashville Biosciences, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, was formed to leverage the Medical Center’s extensive bioinformatics and genomic resources for drug and diagnosis 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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