Qatar Biobank has collected over 5,000 samples from Qataris and long-term residents that will help Qatar Genome Programme (QGP) to further its progress towards personalised medicine, it was announced yesterday.
In collaboration with the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), Qatar Biobank has also launched the ‘Path to Personalised Medicine’ to support QGP, according to a statement.
QGP uses a collection of samples and data from Qatar Biobank participants to identify genotype-phenotype associations relevant to the Qatari population, enabling researchers to make advances toward the development of personalised healthcare in Qatar.
The research grant programme is designed to provide personalised healthcare based on an individual’s genetic composition. Following genomic sequencing compiled by QGP, the grant aims to support experts and researchers in their mission to integrate personalised healthcare in Qatar.
HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, announced the completion of the pilot phase of the QGP, with 3,000 complete genomes sequenced, in her welcome address to the World Innovation Summit for Health 2016 (WISH) last month.
QGP, which is incubated under Qatar Biobank, a member of QF, was announced by HH Sheikha Moza at the WISH 2013. The pilot phase was launched in September 2015.
The goal of the QGP is to create a healthcare system designed around individuals, using advanced data to provide better, more personalised treatment for patients in Qatar.
Sheikha Moza highlighted at the WISH summit 2016 the significant value the genome programme will add to Qatar’s healthcare sector in the long-run in terms of easing the diagnoses of various diseases and their treatment through customised medicine.
“HH Sheikha Moza’s announcement of the completion of the pilot phase is a major step forward for the QGP, as it demonstrates that we have sequenced enough genomes to have already made significant contributions towards healthcare research in Qatar,” said Prof Asma al-Thani, chairperson, Qatar Biobank and vice-chairperson, QGP.
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