Sutter Health, a Sacramento-based not-for-profit health system, has collaborated with data management platform DNAnexus to advance personalized treatments for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). As part of the partnership, the Genome Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) will create clinical-grade genomic data from samples contributed by the program’s participants. As per the report, Scientists at Sutter’s Center for Precision Medicine will input de-identified clinico-genomic datasets from over 3,000 patients to DNAnexus’s Apollo platform for analysis and visualization in addition to allow collaboration.
During the first phase of the study of 500 patients, which is starting next month, scientists will gather Electronic Health Record data (EHR), imaging data, patient-reported outcomes, and blood samples, with whole exome sequencing (WES), performed by UPMC. Afterward, DNAnexus team will process WES data through analysis pipelines and connect the resulting genetic data with wide-ranging clinical data on Apollo. The Sutter Health team can then utilize Apollo platform to analyze the patients’ clinical and genomic features correlating with MS subtypes in addition to disability progression, symptoms, staging, MRI changes, and differential response to disease-modifying therapies (DMTs). Ahead of this collaboration, UPMC Genome Center director Annerose Berndt said in a statement that “Our center provides the environment to generate high-quality genomic data for Sutter Health and its patients. The Genome Center has the capability to support high-volume clinical and research sequencing for various applications, such as whole genome sequencing, WES, and bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing, with data processing and storage supported by Cloud-based infrastructure.
In a statement, Gregory Tranah, director of the Center for Precision Medicine at Sutter Health noted that this is an important step to advance precision medicine efforts across Sutter and, ultimately, to improve treatments for people with MS in our community and the millions of people affected with the disease worldwide.