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Finnish biobanks as genomic data sources

Finland is a global hotspot for medical research in terms of healthcare, education, innovation, digitalization and good governance. Finns share a unique genetic heritage which allows faster and more effective analysis of genomic data compared to populations of more heterogeneous origins. This exceptional setting significantly improves the chances of breakthrough findings.

To advance personalized medicine, Finnish biobanks have joined together in a large nationwide project called FinnGen (www.finngen.fi) which will generate a vast amount of genome data from up to 500,000 biobank samples. All sample-related genome data will return to the originating biobank where it can be further utilized in subsequent biobank projects. The returned data provides the basis for new industrial partnerships, drug trials, monitoring studies, and other public-private projects.

The first analyses from FinnGen have provided significant insights on the genetic background of glaucoma, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and sleep apnea. While further research is needed, these findings confirm that the FinnGen approach of combining health registry and genome data works.

Collaboration is the key to achieving breakthroughs in disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. We invite researchers and businesses from around the world to join us in this journey!

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News

Several novel genetic variants associated with plasma levels of lipid species and cardiovascular disease risk

2019-09-24 - FinnGen

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Traditional lipid measures, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, are routinely monitored to assess the risk for CVDs, but they do not capture the hundreds of diverse molecular components called lipid species in human plasma. A recent biobank study demonstrates that genetic studies focusing on circulating lipid levels over traditional lipid measures can help improve cardiovascular risk prediction and treatment. 

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THL Biobank announces the availability of NMR metabolomics data for 40,000 Finnish individuals for academic research

2019-08-19 - THL Biobank

High-quality nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) metabolomics data is now available for THL Biobank’s large population-based cohorts. Almost 37,000 serum samples have been analyzed during 2018–2019 for a panel of over 200 biomarkers by Nightingale Health (Helsinki). Academic researchers can now obtain access to metabolomics data from a total of over 40,000 sample donors, and also genomic, lifestyle and other types of data is available for these population cohorts.

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Real-world evidence study highlights the severity of heart failure and the need for new, improved treatment options

2019-05-03 - Auria Biobank

A retrospective biobank and clinical registry study describes characteristics of the adult chronic heart failure (HF) population, and estimates the HF-associated prevalence, incidence, healthcare resource utilization (HCRU), and mortality. The study includes adult patients diagnosed with HF during 2004–2013 in secondary care. The results show high mortality rate and HCRU highlighting the severity of the disease and the economic and social burden on both patients and society.

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