Bioinformatics company Seven Bridges, announced it has been selected by the UK Biobank to process and analyze the full genomes of 50,000 volunteers that are part of the vanguard phase of the project.
The initiative by UK Biobank was announced in early April 2018 along with £30 million ($38.1 million) of funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC). Sequencing of the first 50,000 genomes will wrap up this year and is intend to provide information that will help shape the main phase of the project—the sequencing of an additional 450,000 whole-genomes over the next several years.
“Given the size and complexity of data being managed as part of the vanguard phase, Seven Bridges has been selected for their bioinformatics and scientific expertise,” said Dr. Mark Effingham, UK Biobank chief operating officer in a press release. “We are confident that the data outputs will be of the highest quality, research ready, and support large-scale health research.”
Google Cloud will provide cloud services for the project as a result of its ongoing work in developing advanced technologies that have proven themselves useful in the field of genomic data storage and analysis. “When working with the Seven Bridges team, we were impressed with the team’s deep understanding of the data and the science,” said, Jonathan Sheffi, product manager, Biomedical Data at Google Cloud, in a prepared statement. “We look forward to making a big impact for UK Biobank and for researchers everywhere.”
All data processed for the UK Biobank will leverage the automated workflows of Seven Bridges to assess the quality of sequencing data and accuracy of metadata. It will also harmonized the data in order to make it interoperable with outputs from similar national programs that are sequencing large numbers of genomes. Data protection will be managed with controlled access and relevant security protocols.
“The entire Seven Bridges team is thrilled to be working with both UK Biobank and Google Cloud to deliver one of the world’s most detailed health studies,” commented William Moss, CEO, Seven Bridges. “We are committed to delivering scientific-based bioinformatics solutions that advance researchers ability to derive valuable insights from the volumes of genomic data being generated.”