Regeneron, Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine Enter Broad Genetics Research Collaboration

Regeneron, Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine Enter Broad Genetics Research Collaboration
Credit: NIH

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM) announced today a precision medicine research collaboration that will tap into 450,000 DNA samples and corresponding health records from de-identified, consented patient participants in the UCHealth system.

Under the deal, the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC) will sequence these samples, to generate genomic data for translational research. These data will be paired with de-identified health records from CCPM to aid in genomic medicine, drug discovery and personalized medicine approaches, which the partners foresee enabling physicians to make better decisions for their 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 CCPM, a part of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, has built one of the largest health data warehouses in the U.S. counting more than 8.7 million de-identified patient records. The five-year old research organization 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.

The RGC meanwhile, has been involved in multiple large-scale genome sequencing and research efforts over the past five years with collaborators that have included major pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions alike. Over that time, it 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. The RGC leverages Regeneron’s strengths in genetics-driven drug discovery.

“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 scope of the collaboration owes to the broad footprint of UCHealth. Via its network, it has enabled outreach via the nonprofit health care system’s patients who have consented to biobank participation. More than of these 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.”