Regeneron links with Univ. of Colorado to sequence 450,000 patients for drug research

DNA test tube
The five-year-old Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine already maintains more than 8.7 million de-identified patient records, coupled with a research biobank. (Getty Images)

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals launched a new initiative that plans to sequence the DNA of 450,000 patients and compare the results with their health records, to support the company’s drug discovery and personalized medicine efforts. 

With the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine, part of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the research collaboration will focus on gathering participants across the UCHealth system.

The five-year-old Colorado center already maintains more than 8.7 million de-identified patient records, coupled with a research biobank. Using sequencing data from the Regeneron Genetics Center, it also plans to deliver the test results back to the patients. 

"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,” said Kathleen Barnes, professor and director of the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine. 

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“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," Barnes added. 

Regeneron’s center, meanwhile, boasts a genetics and health record database spanning more than 1 million people, consolidated from the company’s biopharma collaborations with other institutions.

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"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,” said Aris Baras, head of the Regeneron Genetics Center. “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."