GenomeAsia 100K Initiative Announced to Sequence 100,000 Genomes in South, North and East Asia

Feb 11, 2016, 16:45 ET from Emerge Ventures

ORLANDO, Florida, February 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Non-profit Consortium Aims to Generate Genomic Information for Asian Populations and Promote Genetic Understanding to Support Research and Discovery

The non-profit consortium, GenomeAsia 100K, today announced an ambitious plan to sequence 100,000 individuals. It is intended to initially include populations from 12 South Asian countries and at least 7 of North and East Asian countries.

In the first phase, the project will focus on creating phased reference genomes for all major Asian ethnic groups representing a major step forward in understanding the population history and population substructure of the region.

The sequencing of 100,000 individuals will be combined with micro-biome, clinical and phenotype information to allow deeper analysis of diseased and healthy individuals in the context of inferred local ancestries. With recent insights into the genome diversity of Asian ethnicities, it will become possible to understand the biology of disease in the currently under-studied Asian populations that represent 40% of mankind. Further, the unique genetic diversity prevalent in South, North and East Asia provides a valuable source of clinical insights that should enhance our understanding of several rare and inherited diseases, as well as complex diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Key goal of the consortium is to accelerate precision medicine applications for Asian patients. It will also build advanced analytical capabilities to parse 'big-data' sets, leveraging advances in data science and artificial intelligence.

Prof. Stephan Schuster of Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) will be the Scientific Chairman and Prof. Jeong-Sun Seo, Director of Genomic Medicine Institute at Seoul National University (GMI-SNU) and Chairman of Macrogen will serve a co-Scientific Chairman (North and East Asia) of the consortium. Mahesh Pratapneni, CEO, Emerge Ventures, will act as the Executive Chairman of the project.

Announcing the consortium, Dr. Schuster said, "Advances in sequencing, computing and mobile access mandates that we begin to study these underrepresented Asian populations." Supporters of the initiative include genomics companies Macrogen, MedGenome, as well as life sciences company Illumina. With support to AsianGenome100K initiative, Prof. Jeong-Sun Seo expressed his enthusiasm saying, "Our research experience in Korean reference genome construction and Northeast Asian population genetics will ensure that this consortium is successful."    

The consortium will be hosted at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Professor Bertil Andersson, President of NTU said having greater understanding of the Asian population's genome could lead to better healthcare discoveries in the future. "The human genome is extremely important because they play a big part in the diseases that affect all of us, such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. With almost all current personal genomics efforts concentrating on populations in the western world, the new consortium will benefit the Asian population as it sheds light on the genetic fabric of Asians."

The consortium is now actively seeking additional founding members and scientific collaborators.

About GenomeAsia 100K 

GenomeAsia 100K is a non-profit consortium with a mission to generate genomic information for Asian populations and to promote genetic understanding of Asian populations to support research and discovery for healthy living and longevity.  For more information, contact info@genomeasia100k.com.

About Nanyang Technological University 

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (http://www.ntu.edu.sg), Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London. A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

About Macrogen 

Macrogen, Inc. (http://www.macrogen.com), headquartered in Seoul, Korea, has been grown as a world leading genetic service provider since its birth as a venture spinoff from a Genomic Medicine Institute in Seoul National University

(GMI-SNU) in 1997. Based on its 18 years of DNA sequencing service experience and research endeavor in collaboration with GMI-SNU, Macrogen envisions its contribution to the society through realization of precision medicine. With a global presence, Macrogen operates through U.S. subsidiaries in Rockville, New York, and Cambridge; in the Netherlands in Europe; and, in a new genome center opening in Feb 2016 in Kyoto, Japan.

About MedGenome 

MedGenome (http://www.medgenome.com ) is a genomics-driven research and diagnostics company with a mission to improve global health by decoding the genetic information contained in an individual's genome. Its unique access to genomics data with clinical and phenotypic data provides insights into complex diseases at the genetic and molecular level to facilitate research in personalized healthcare. MedGenome is the market leader for genetic diagnostic testing in India.

Media Contact
Mahesh Pratapneni
mahesh@emergeout.com
CEO, Emerge Ventures


SOURCE Emerge Ventures