The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Saudi Arabia’s national funding agency, and Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:LIFE) have announced The Saudi Human Genome Program.
It is a national research project to study the genetic basis of all disease in the Kingdom and throughout the Middle East and use the findings to offer the ultimate personal care in Saudi Arabia.
Through a network of an initial 10 genome centers across Saudi Arabia, the program using the Ion Proton DNA sequencer, will focus on sequencing 100,000 human genomes over the next five years.
It will study both normal and disease-associated genes specific to the Saudi population, with five further genome centers to be created in the future.
This genomic variant data will be fully analyzed and used to create a Saudi-specific database that will provide the basis for future development of personalized medicine in the Kingdom and represents the most comprehensive effort to identify the disease-causing genes for the population of a country and Arab people.
The sequencing will be performed using Life Technologies’ semiconductor-based Ion Proton DNA sequencer. The instruments will be deployed in the network of 15 genome centers at various sites across the Kingdom.
The collected data will also enable worldwide population studies to understand and compare population-specific influences leading to normal and harmful variants, common and rare mutations.