Thermo Fisher Scientific on Tuesday announced a partnership with the Taiwan Precision Medicine Initiative (TPMI) aimed at genotyping one million people in Taiwan and advancing the next phase of a large-scale predictive genomics study.
The predictive genomics project, launched in 2019 by Academia Sinica and a network of hospital systems in Taiwan, will enable clinicians to create new guidelines for managing patients at high risk for serious diseases, Thermo Fisher said.
Such diseases would include cancer, as well as cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and other disorders, the firm said, adding that the TPMI project also aims to enable clinicians to provide personalized drug prescriptions based on pharmacogenetic factors.
Thermo and TPMI have been collaborating on the design of a custom genotyping research array for identifying genetic factors that may increase the risk of developing certain diseases. The custom array, called Axiom, contains more than 700,000 genetic markers selected to capture variants of interest; the initial TPMI analysis revealed 83 potentially clinically relevant genes associated with disease risk or drug reactions, Thermo Fisher said.
TPMI will now work with Thermo Fisher to optimize the Axiom genotyping platform to translate the results to clinical use. The partners also aim to expand the development of disease risk prediction algorithms for at least 20 common diseases found in Han Chinese people, who constitute approximately 18% of the global population.
"The healthcare community is working toward proving the clinical and economic value of predictive genomics to decrease risk of disease and improve health, and projects such as the Taiwan Precision Medicine Initiative promise to help distribute the benefits of precision medicine more broadly and equitably," Chad Carter, vice president and general manager of microarrays genetic solutions at Thermo Fisher, said in a statement.