Partners HealthCare, a Boston-based integrated health system, and Illumina, a developer, manufacturer and marketer of life science tools and integrated systems, announced the GeneInsight-Illumina Founding Network Members, including the ARUP Laboratories, Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory, New York Genome Center (NYGC), Partners HealthCare and Illumina.
The members represent a diverse and distinguished group of laboratories within leading academic institutions and commercial organizations who are interested in leveraging clinical-grade genomics interpretation and reporting. The members are committed to exploring and sharing knowledge, including variant level content and interpretations, through the formation of inter-laboratory collaborations and "knowledge rings." The network will be opened widely later in 2013 to other institutions willing to share clinical genomic data.
"Today's announcement reinforces our commitment to establishing a community-based approach to addressing some of the most challenging issues related to clinical next-generation sequencing," said Heidi Rehm, PhD, chief laboratory director, Partners' Laboratory for Molecular Medicine. "We're excited to bring together such a talented and diverse group of leading institutions who share a common vision and are passionate about the opportunities for collaboration to advance the field of clinical genetics."
Elaine Lyon, PhD, medical director of ARUP Laboratories, echoed the sentiment and expressed her enthusiasm for a community approach to curating variant knowledge, saying, "As a user of the GeneInsight application, I look forward to participating in a network of leading genetic testing laboratories and academic institutions to curate genetic variants. This collaborative effort can greatly contribute to improving patient care."
The founding members are serving as initial pilot sites for the deployment and implementation of a combined offering that integrates the functionality of Illumina's MiSeq sequencing system and Partners GeneInsight Suite, an IT platform that streamlines the analysis, interpretation and reporting of complex genetic test results. As pilot sites, the members have a unique opportunity to represent the community of clinical lab professionals, geneticists and genetic counselors to improve upon the combined GeneInsight-Illumina offering and to prepare it for general release. They also will be instrumental in developing a resource that has the potential to add to the effectiveness of genetic testing.
Another founding member, the New York Genome Center, is an independent, non-profit organization leveraging the collaborative resources of leading academic medical centers, research universities and commercial organizations to create one of the largest genomics research facilities in North America. As an enterprise focused squarely on fostering a collaborative environment, it believes its involvement in the network will help drive the translation of basic research into clinical care.
"The New York Genome Center has brought together leading research, clinical and technology collaborators in an effort to transform science and healthcare," said Nancy J. Kelley, NYGC founding executive director. "Partners HealthCare and Illumina share our vision for innovation through collaboration, so we are privileged to be a founding member of the GeneInsight-Illumina Network. We look forward to using these new tools with other members of the network to promote discovery and improve patient care."
In September 2012, Partners HealthCare and Illumina announced their strategic alliance and shared commitment to bringing a broader community of clinical laboratories together to expand and enrich collective knowledge about genetics with the goal of improving patient care.
"Today's announcement represents a significant milestone toward achieving GeneInsight and Illumina's shared vision of enabling the market to apply sequencing technology to improve human health. Illumina is excited to be among such reputable founding members and is committed to using GeneInsight in our CLIA-certified, CAP accredited laboratory to support the growing demand for our Understand Your Genome Symposia," said Matt Posard, senior vice president and general manager of Illumina's translational and consumer business.