Sequence Bio, a biotechnology company based in Newfoundland and Labrador, announced today the approval of the NB Genome Project - Pilot in partnership with 3 local doctors in Moncton, New Brunswick. The project was rigorously vetted and approved by Veritas, a nationally recognized ethics review board of Canadian genomics and ethics experts. This approval means the NB Genome Project - Pilot is deemed to be an ethical study that meets the Canada-wide standard of TCPS2.
The NB Genome Project - Pilot hopes to gain a deeper understanding of New Brunswick's genetic makeup by studying the DNA of 2,500 volunteering participants, and make important discoveries to better understand, treat, and prevent the diseases that impact this region the most. Eligible participants who volunteer to join the study at a participating doctor's office will provide a saliva sample, fill out a questionnaire, provide contact information, and grant permission to access their medical records.
The NB Genome Project - Pilot will see Sequence Bio bring a wide range of benefits to New Brunswick. Sequence Bio will invest several million dollars in this pilot project, hire and grow their team, and provide participants access to a genetic counsellor. Participants can also choose whether or not they want to receive findings reports about their genetic makeup. These findings will put New Brunswick on the cutting edge of genomics care and potentially help participants and their doctors make more informed healthcare decisions.
Chris Gardner, Sequence Bio's CEO said, "As this approval confirms, Sequence Bio's research studies are backed by world leading expertise and meet all ethical regulations. We commend New Brunswick for a timely and collaborative review that supports research. This project mirrors the one we submitted in Newfoundland and Labrador, and we are eagerly waiting for the province's new genomics review board to be formed so we can bring this important research to our home province."
The health and genetic information from consenting participants will be coded, combined, and analysed by NB Genome Project - Pilot researchers with an aim to better understand this province's genetic makeup, and to look for patterns and genetic changes within. These findings could be significant, and may potentially help Sequence Bio and approved partners identify opportunities for the development of better, safer treatments and help in the development of a larger-scale research project in New Brunswick.
The NB Genome Project - Pilot received approval from the Veritas Research Ethics Board, and its Principal Investigator is Dr. Michael Phillips, Chief Scientific Officer at Sequence Bio.
Sequence Bio is an Atlantic Canadian biotechnology company leading the NB Genome Project - Pilot, a health study researching the genetic makeup in New Brunswick. The project aims to enable better healthcare and improve drug discovery by using big data and computational approaches to find better, safer treatments. Sequence Bio is passionate about advancing healthcare and is committed to taking a participant-centric approach with a world-class privacy and ethics framework that returns benefits and enhances the lives of individuals, families, and communities in Atlantic Canada.
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Preface/disclaimer - Sequence Bio is planning to conduct research in Newfoundland and Labrador, and doing so in an ethical and transparent way is our first priority. Our efforts require approval by the Health Research Ethics Board (HREB). The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” and similar expressions, among others, generally identify our intent and/or objective to undertake research in this province and may be subject to change after HREB Review.