Regeneron allies with DNAnexus on 100,000 exomes project

Regeneron ($REGN) has put another piece of its exome sequencing plan into action. Faced with the challenge of how to handle data from the 100,000 exomes it intends to sequence, Regeneron has struck a deal with DNAnexus to access cloud-based infrastructure.

The Tarrytown, NY-based biotech is working with DNAnexus through the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC) it established for the sequencing project. DNAnexus is providing the connective tissue for RGC's projects, notably by deidentifying and analyzing data generated by a collaboration with Geisinger Health System. RGC plans to sequence the exomes of 100,000 samples provided by Geisinger, a goal that is seeing it send data from 1,000 individuals to DNAnexus every week. 

RGC is the first of DNAnexus' partners to rely solely on cloud computing for its management of exome data. DNAnexus sees benefits to taking this approach. "It's just an enormous reduction in the time and expense it takes to do this," DNAnexus CEO Richard Daly told Gigaom. RGC went public with its plans to sequence 100,000 exomes in January and is now up to a run rate of sequencing 1,000 samples a week.

By combining the substantial pool of exome data with electronic health records, RGC hopes to gather insights that will shape its drug discovery program. The model is similar to the population-scale sequencing strategies being planned by countries, such as England and its 100,000 Genomes Project.

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