Regeneron, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and others to accelerate largest ‘big data’ genome biobank

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In New York, Regeneron plans to sequence the exomes of all 500,000 people within the UK Biobank resource, all with associated health records, creating an unprecedented resource linking human genetic variations to human biology and disease by the end of 2019. AbbVie, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Biogen and Pfizer will join Regeneron to co-fund one of the industry’s most ambitious ‘pre-competitive’ research efforts and exome sequencing data and findings will be openly available to other researchers.

The newly announced collaborators will each commit $10 million to enable a dramatic acceleration of sequencing timelines, and additional companies are considering joining the consortium. Regeneron will conduct the sequencing effort. The sequencing data will be paired with detailed, de-identified medical and health records within the UK Biobank resource, including enhanced measures such as brain, heart and body imaging, to create an unparalleled resource for linking human genetic variations to human biology and disease.