Thermo Fisher Scientific and Qatar Genome Program Partner to Advance Precision Medicine

Thermo Fisher Scientific and Qatar Genome Program will use custom genotyping arrays to accelerate genomic research in Qatar.

Thermo Fisher Scientific and Qatar Genome Program, a member of the Qatar Foundation, have announced a partnership to use custom genotyping arrays to accelerate genomic research and the clinical applications of predictive genomics in Qatar. The goal of this partnership is to work toward expanding the benefits of precision medicine across global Arab populations.

According to a May 23, 2022 press release, Thermo Fisher and Qatar Genome Program will develop an Axiom custom genotyping array for pan-Arab populations via whole genome sequencing data from 19 Arab countries. The array consists of approximately 800,000 variants and aims to drive research into conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, autism, inherited genetic disorders, and cancer. The array is designed to be a cost-effective alternative to whole genome sequencing for Arab populations.

A partnership between the two entities first began in 2018 when they developed the first microarray specifically designed for the Qatari population, the Q Chip, which detects genetic alterations that increase individuals' risk of various diseases. Per the terms of this agreement, the organizations will continue to refine algorithms and define clinically actionable content to assess polygenic risk scores and clinically relevant variants, including those related to pharmacogenomics.

“Qatar’s national vision is to provide a high standard of living for our people, and that includes providing access to genomics data, technology and insights to improve population health across the country,” said Radja Badji, genome operations manager, Qatar Genome Program, in the press release. “Our collaboration with Thermo Fisher will not only help us advance precision medicine in Qatar but also among people of Arab identity worldwide.”

“Thermo Fisher’s Axiom microarray technology is designed to help accelerate precision medicine, and we are honored to partner with the Qatar Genome Program as they take bold steps to leverage the power of genomics to improve the standard of care for human health,” said Chad Carter, vice-president and general manager of microarray genetic solutions, Thermo Fisher Scientific, in the press release. “Together, we’re creating building blocks for implementing comprehensive precision medicine initiatives at scale for population health.”

Source: Thermo Fisher