In the United Kingdom, the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and Genomics England today announced reaching the 50,000 whole human genome sequences landmark within the 100,000 Genomes Project. According to their press release, it is a milestone that sets the UK on track to fully realize the potential of genomic medicine, deliver better care for patients and establish the UK as the global ‘go to’ destination in the fast emerging genomics sector.
Genomics England is tasked with the delivery of the groundbreaking 100,000 Genomes Project, which is sequencing 100,000 genomes from 70,000 people, focused on patients with rare diseases, their families, and patients with cancer.
The project is already changing the lives of patients with a rare disease – often providing diagnoses for the first time after years of uncertainty and distress (known as the diagnostic odyssey), as well as working towards reducing costs to health and social care budgets. In cancer, significant progress has been made in tackling the global challenge of extracting of DNA of sufficient quality for whole genome sequencing – leading to the significant redesign of tissue handling in the NHS.