Genomics-driven Drug Discovery at the Regeneron Genetics Center
Monday, February 5
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
John Overton, PhD
Senior Director, Head of Sequencing and Lab Operations
Regeneron Genetics Center
The Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC) was officially launched in early 2014 with a goal of advancing basic science around the world by providing valuable genetic information to researchers, physicians, and patients to ultimately help identify novel targets for Regeneron drug development. The RGC has used innovative sample biobanking, proprietary automated technology, advanced DNA sequencing, and state-of-the-art cloud computing to - in just over three years of sequencing - build one of the world’s most comprehensive genetics databases. The database currently contains the genetic information of well over 200,000 patient volunteers, many of which are paired with detailed de-identified medical records, and continues to grow rapidly.
Automated sample biobanking and sample preparation have allowed us to manage and process massive numbers of DNA samples with near perfect fidelity and achieve incredibly high levels of DNA sequencing efficiency. Well-engineered sample preparation platforms have allowed us to scale production more than 10-fold over the past three years without adding any additional infrastructure or headcount. While quickly expanding our efforts and improving our processes we have increased our data quality standards above traditional expectations while significantly cutting data production costs.
Building on Regeneron’s strengths in mouse genetics and genetics-driven drug discovery, the large amount of information that is generated at the RGC allows us to elucidate the genetic factors that cause or influence a vast range of human diseases and ultimately will make drug development faster and more precise. We are using our unique database and capabilities to build better-informed clinical trials, to validate our existing programs, and to identify new drug targets and therapeutic indications; several successful applications of this already exist and will be presented. Based on genetic information we have advanced programs into human studies, started programs in early stage clinical development, and we have identified numerous new drug candidates for possible development programs.