Regeneron, a leading pharma company based in Tarrytown, New York launched a new human genetics initiative, Regeneron Genetics Center LLC (RGC) with the goal of using human genetics for improving the drug development process. Regeneron announced that it will be sequencing 100,000 individuals, in collaboration with Geisinger Health System. Geisinger is a large integrated healthcare system serving millions in Pennsylvania.
Initial plan is to get samples from more than 100,000 volunteers from Geisinger and perform exome sequencing at the Regeneron Genetics Center. NY Times, which first reported one of the largest sequencing efforts, says that Geisinger has already collected 45,000 DNA samples with medical information and will give the samples to Regeneron after de-identification. The report also states that the 100,000 exome sequencing effort will cost $100 Million over 5 years for Regeneron.
In the press release announcing the Regeneron Genetics Center, Regeneron said that it has built a new sequencing facility last year and hired top talents to lead the sequencing effort, including John Overton, Jeffrey Reid,and Aris Baras.
John Overton, Ph.D., a former Associate Director of the Yale Center for Genome Analysis, will be leading the sequencing effort. Jeffrey Reid, Ph.D., formerly Assistant Professor at the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine, will lead the informatics group at the center. Aris Baras, M.D.from Regeneron helped launching the initiative will be the Deputy Head of the center.
In the press release, Dr. Overton said
I am thrilled to be joining Regeneron as we initiate this new scientific research effort,” said Regeneron’s strong commitment to the success of this project, combined with its entrepreneurial spirit and well-established expertise in basic research and mouse genetics, form a foundation we feel will lead to significant advances in our understanding of the fundamental etiology of diseases, drug development, and, ultimately, in patient care.
Dr. Reid said
Bringing large-scale human genome sequencing together with Regeneron’s world-class mouse genetics program has potential to identify validated targets for drug discovery and make clinically-relevant genetic discoveries that, through our collaborations, can speed up the translation from science to medicine and accelerate the pace of the genomic medicine revolution.
Regeneron Genetics Center is hiring for a variety positions, including heads of our analytical and translational genetics efforts.