Thermo Fisher Scientific and Qatar Genome Program (QGP), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), have partnered with the goal of accelerating genomic research and clinical applications of predictive genomics in Qatar as a step toward expanding the benefits of precision medicine across Arab populations globally.
Under the agreement, Thermo Fisher and Qatar Genome Program will develop an Axiom* custom genotyping array for pan-Arab populations using whole genome sequencing data from 19 Arab countries. The array, with about 800,000 variants, aims to help drive scientific research and insights into conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, autism, inherited genetic disorders and cancer. Once available through Thermo Fisher’s global commercial channels in late 2022, the array is intended to provide a cost-effective alternative to whole genome sequencing for Arab populations, enabling increased diversity in large genome-wide studies.
“Qatar’s national vision is to provide a high standard of living for our people, and that includes providing access to genomics data, technology and insights to improve population health across the country,” said Dr. Radja Badji, genome operations manager at Qatar Genome Program. “Our collaboration with Thermo Fisher will not only help us advance precision medicine in Qatar but also among people of Arab identity worldwide.”
Thermo Fisher began working with Qatar Genome Program in 2018 to establish the first microarray designed specifically for the Qatari population. The Q-Chip detects genetic alterations that increase individuals’ risk of both prevalent and rare diseases. As part of the new agreement, the organizations will continue to refine algorithms and define clinically actionable content to assess polygenic risk scores, a measure of disease risk, and clinically relevant variants, including those related to pharmacogenomics.
“Thermo Fisher’s Axiom microarray technology is designed to help accelerate precision medicine, and we are honored to partner with the Qatar Genome Program as they take bold steps to leverage the power of genomics to improve the standard of care for human health,” said Chad Carter, vice president and general manager of microarray genetic solutions at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Together, we’re creating building blocks for implementing comprehensive precision medicine initiatives at scale for population health.”
Thermo Fisher provides a range of predictive genomics solutions used globally to assess gene-related disease risk and drug response. For more information, visit thermofisher.com/predictive-genomics.
*For research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.