Sutter Health, UPMC partner with DNAnexus on precision medicine study

Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health and UPMC in Pittsburgh are collaborating with DNAnexus, a biomedical informatics and data management company, on a precision medicine study of multiple sclerosis treatments.

For the study, Sutter Health Center for Precision Medicine scientists will add de-identified, genomic datasets to DNAnexus' clinical genomic data management platform, which facilitates ongoing precision medicine data sharing among a network of healthcare providers. The UPMC Genome Center will then use the patient information to generate clinical genomic data from samples of the program's participants.  

In May, Sutter Health researchers will enroll more than 500 MS patients in the study's first phase, which aims to collect EHR data, patient-reported outcomes, imaging data and blood samples in addition to whole exome sequencing done by UPMC. DNAnexus will analyze patient's genetic data and link it with clinical data stored on its platform.

After the patient data is added to DNAnexus' platform, Sutter Health will assess the patients' clinical and genomic features that correlate with MS subtypes, disability progression, MRI changes and differential responses to disease modifying therapies, among other factors.

"Datasets generated in a real-world setting will propel Sutter Health to the forefront of MS research worldwide," Sutter Health Precision Medicine Director Gregory Tranah, PhD, said in a news release. "Collaborating with DNAnexus allows access to cutting-edge bioinformatics tools to better understand our clinically meaningful 'big data.' 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."

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