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UK Biobank and Affymetrix Sign 500,000-Sample Genotyping Agreement


By Bio-IT World Staff 

March 22, 2013 | UK Biobank and Affymetrix have signed a contract to genotype 500,000 DNA samples donated by UK residents as part of a prospective epidemiological study of complex diseases that are of great relevance to public health. Affymetrix’ Axiom Genotyping Solution will be used to generate billions of high-quality genotypes which will provide UK Biobank and the research community with valuable insight into genetic factors underlying human diseases for improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

“I urge health scientists everywhere to think carefully about how this resource could be used to help their research, and to register with UK Biobank,” said Professor Rory Collins, UK Biobank CEO and Principal Investigator in a statement.

UK Biobank recruited 500,000 people aged between 40-69 years in 2006-2010 from across the country to take part in this project. Participants have provided blood, urine and saliva samples for future analysis, detailed information about themselves and agreed to have their health followed. Over many years this will build into a powerful resource to help scientists discover why some people develop particular diseases and others do not.

“I am… very grateful to the half a million participants whose generosity and vision for the future has allowed this resource to grow,” said Collins.

The partnership is part of Affymetrix’s efforts to expand its reach into the translational medicine, molecular diagnostics, and applied markets, said Frank Whitney, President and CEO. Affymetrix expects to begin delivering data for the study toward the end of 2013, and expects the majority of the revenue from the project to be realized in 2014.

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