The Utah Genome Project and the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in New York, are collaborating to perform large-scale sequencing of families with diseases that have an autoimmune component, including lung diseases, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease. RGC will work closely with the USTAR Center for Genetic Discovery to analyze genomic data for genetic variations that cause disease.
"This is an exciting time for human genetics. The collaboration between the University of Utah and the RGC brings together a multidisciplinary, field-leading team of genomic and analytical scientists,” said Alan Shuldiner, M.D., Vice President and Co-Head of the Regeneron Genetics Center.
The project will analyze the genomes of 4,000+ Utahns. “By combining well-characterized clinical samples from the consented Utah population and high-throughput large-scale DNA sequence and analysis capabilities, we hope to rapidly advance our understanding of certain diseases and accelerate the development of safe and effective treatments for patients in need," Shuldiner continued.
“The genetic information from the partnership with Regeneron, coupled with the resources of the Utah Population Database, will be invaluable in finding cures for one of the most devastating illnesses we face, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), currently the third leading cause of death worldwide," explains John Hoidal, M.D., chair of internal medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
Launched in January, 2014, the RGC elucidates genetic factors that cause or influence a range of human diseases in order to identify novel targets for drug development. The parent company, Regeneron, has developed a number of drugs based on genetic discovery, including PRALUENT® (alirocumab) Injection, an inhibitor of the LDL cholesterol-regulating target PCSK9, and ARCALYST® (rilonacept) Injection for the treatment of inherited, autoinflammatory Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes.