Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus announced a large-scale research collaboration designed to advance the field of human genetics and precision medicine through the sharing of 450,000 DNA samples and corresponding health records from de-identified, consented patient participants in the expansive UCHealth system. The Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Regeneron, has entered into the collaboration with CCPM and will sequence these samples, producing genomic data that can be used to facilitate translational medical research and ultimately enable physicians to make better decisions for their patients.
The CCPM is one of the largest health data warehouses in the United States and a pioneer in the use of a secure cloud platform with more than 8.7 million de-identified patient records. The five-year old research enterprise is also one of the first and largest programs in the country to integrate personalized genomic information with clinical data via a research biobank. CCPM physicians will validate any genetic findings from the RGC data in their CLIA-certified lab, enabling the return of clinically-actionable results to patients.
“This collaboration will take an already notable program at the CCPM and expand the depth and breadth of its capabilities, allowing us to give more back to our patient participants than ever before,” said Kathleen Barnes, Ph.D., Professor and Director of CCPM at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “We have made tremendous strides with our work in pharmacogenomics, but having access to such a large genomic dataset that enables the return of clinically actionable results will be transformative. Our collaboration with the RGC will lead to an optimization of patient care, using personalized results to better inform clinical decision making, and potentially leading to new ways of diagnosing, preventing and treating illnesses.”
The RGC has built one of the world’s largest genetics databases, pairing the sequenced exomes and de-identified electronic health records of more than one million people, through collaborations with more than 80 global healthcare and academic institutions. Building upon Regeneron’s strengths in genetics-driven drug discovery, the information secured from this initiative will allow for the elucidation, on a large scale, of genetic factors that cause or influence a range of human diseases.
“We’re excited to collaborate with the CCPM and UCHealth to further expand the RGC’s large-scale genomics initiatives,” said Aris Baras, M.D., Senior Vice President at Regeneron and Head of the Regeneron Genetics Center. “In the search for new and improved medicines, as well as the advancement of validated and improved risk scores in medicine, both scale and quality of data matter. This partnership opens up new doors for meaningful discovery, strengthens Regeneron’s ability to speed and improve the drug development process, and allows us to work alongside other leaders in the advancement of genomic and precision medicine.”
The impressive scope of this effort is also thanks to the wide-ranging footprint of UCHealth. Large numbers of the nonprofit health care system’s patients have consented to biobank participation, more than half of whom live outside of the metro Denver area and in neighboring states like Nebraska and Wyoming.
“Our patients are already benefitting from the remarkable work of the CCPM which is allowing providers to use genomics to make more accurate diagnoses and precisely tailor treatment to individual patients,” said Richard Zane, M.D., UCHealth Chief Innovation Officer, who is also the Professor and Chair of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “This partnership will help drive the health care discoveries of tomorrow and realize the full potential of precision medicine. We so appreciate our patients who have consented to participate and without whom discovery would not be possible.”
About The RGC-Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine Research Collaboration
The RGC and CCPM will create a comprehensive, large-scale genomics database comprising approximately 450,000 fully annotated, whole exome sequences for discovery research and to support patient care at UCHealth. The goal of the partnership is to leverage de-identified genetic information from consenting patients with large sets of corresponding medical data that will ultimately build a warehouse of information useful for the discovery of genetic factors that could inform clinical care. For the newly-established CCPM, this enterprise will exponentially expand biobank research capabilities.
About the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is a world-class medical destination at the forefront of transformative science, medicine, education, and patient care. The campus encompasses the University of Colorado health professional schools, more than 60 centers and institutes, and two nationally ranked hospitals that treat more than 2 million adult and pediatric patients each year. Innovative, interconnected and highly collaborative, together we deliver life-changing treatments, patient care, professional training, and conduct world-renowned research powered by more than $550 million in research awards.
Regeneron is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for over 30 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to seven FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in development, all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, infectious diseases and rare diseases.
Regeneron is accelerating and improving the traditional drug development process through our proprietary VelociSuite® technologies, such as VelocImmune® which uses unique genetically-humanized mice to produce optimized fully-human antibodies and bispecific antibodies, and through ambitious research initiatives such as the Regeneron Genetics Center, which is conducting one of the largest genetics sequencing efforts in the world.