Finland is one of the global front runners in utilizing genomic and clinical data within healthcare innovation, day to day patient care, and research discoveries. The FinnGen study was launch in Finland in 2017 to leverage population datasets and deepen insights on the origins of both common and rare diseases in order to generate novel medically and therapeutically relevant insights. The project is the first large data-driven precision medicine study at this scale, and its public-private collaborative nature is exceptional compared to many other ongoing studies.
Specifically, the study aims to produce close to complete genomic variant data of over 500 000 participants using genome-wide genotyping and imputation. This genome data will be combined with phenotype data produced from several national health registries. Uniquely, the homogeneous genetic makeup of the Finnish population enables its genomic data to be analysed faster and more effectively than more heterogenous populations, significantly improving the chances of breakthrough findings.
FinnGen is co-ordinated by researchers from the University of Helsinki, HUS Helsinki University Hospital and Finnish institute for Health and Welfare and is expected to continue for six years. The project is funded by Business Finland (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, a part of Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy) and nine international pharmaceutical companies: Abbvie, AstraZeneca, Biogen, Celgene, Genentech (a member of the Roche Group), GSK, Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, Pfizer and Sanofi. The overarching goal of the study is to generate breakthroughs in the treatment of disease to benefit health care systems and patients both locally and globally.
Following our mission to revolutionize drug development and personalize care, BC Platforms is the selected technology vendor to provide its cutting-edge BC|RQUEST platform for data sharing purpose. This platform and the collaboration enables secure data access and provides infrastructure for advanced data analytics to nine international pharmaceutical companies and overall research community, transforming and accelerating the discovery process.
FinnGen is expected to expand during the next few years, incorporating new data sources as well as new pharmaceutical company partners. This is a collaborative initiative between the public sector and healthcare industry, bringing together Finnish universities, hospitals and hospital districts, THL, Blood Services, biobanks and international pharmaceutical companies as well as hundreds of thousands of Finns. Such a comprehensive approach will enable progress in precision medicine and ultimately revolutionize modern healthcare.