Digital Salutem
18 July 2022

How Does Genomic Sequencing Advance Precision Medicine?

By João Bocas
precision medicine

What is precision medicine and its true potential in healthcare?

Precision medicine is a medical methodology or model that aims to optimize efficiency around a specific therapeutic area for specific groups of patients, especially by using genetic or molecular profiling. Although precision medicine is a relatively new term, the concept has been part of healthcare for quite some time. This approach will enable doctors and researchers to select treatments based on a genetic understanding of the patient’s diseases, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach in which disease treatment is developed for “average patients” with less consideration of the differences between them. 

Since precision medicine is a more tailored and precise way of diagnosing and treating disease, more patients can be diagnosed quickly and accurately, which means our overall health outcomes can be improved. For example, by using precision medicine to treat cancer, the doctor will aim to achieve early detection by using data and diagnostics first. Personalized treatment will then be designed to target the disease areas for more effective treatment intervention with certain drugs proving more effective for specific genetic profiles. It can also reduce the cost of treatment we are going to pay by eliminating ineffective treatment plans.

 Genomic Sequencing Unleashes the Power of Precision Medicine

As precision medicine recognizes that while two people might share the same disease, one might respond to a particular treatment differently than the other based on their genetic and biological make-up. It leads to the point that genomic sequencing technology is a key driver of precision medicine, which has improved substantially in accuracy, speed, and cost. It has a great impact on stratifying cancer, characterizing genetic diseases, and providing information about an individual’s potential response to treatment. Thus, helping to identify, track, and control infectious disease outbreaks for large numbers of individuals 

At the forefront of this technology is MGI, a leading company that is committed to this area with its latest sequencing technology* and state-of-the-art automation products. They are working successfully in the precision medicine domain aiming to improve the quality of the existing way of sample collection as well as lower the cost of high-throughput sequencing. MGI has developed its microbe genome sequencing technology*, which allows us to analyze hundreds or thousands of samples quickly and easily so that we can start making connections between different populations’ microbiomes and their health outcomes much more quickly than before. For instance, the technology will allow us to build maps that compare people living in different areas around the world based on their microbes—and then use those maps as a jumping-off point for further research into how these communities differ genetically, culturally, or geographically.

Furthermore, we can redesign healthcare systems based on highly personalized data sets, where patterns can be identified, analyzed, and predicted to establish future interventions based on very high effective treatment methodologies and a high chance of early diagnostics success. 

The results clearly outlined that the power of choice to sequencing represents a huge benefit to all of us and to humanity as a whole.

MGI presented HotMPS Sequencing** Technology at the European Human Genetics Conference (ESHG 2022)


Recently in ESHG, MGI has revealed the HotMPS**, new sequencing chemistry that brings choice to sequencing. 

The HotMPS chemistry** is designed to run on the DNBSEQ-G400 platform***, which runs up to two flow cells and has a data output ranging from 75 Gb to 360 Gb per flow cell, depending on read length, which can be 50 bp or 100 bp single-end reads or 50 bp or 100 bp paired-end reads. The plan is to increase read length to 150 bp paired-end reads later this year. Existing DNBSEQ-G400 instrument*** will need a software upgrade to make them compatible with the new chemistry and will no longer be able to run the StandardMPS chemistry* after that. MGI also plans to make its high-throughput DNBSEQ-T7 platform* compatible with HotMPS chemistry** soon, also through a software upgrade.

István Szatmári of the University of Debrecen in Hungary has also been using the DNBSEQ-G400* in his lab for the last few years and showed performance data comparing the StandardMPS* versus the HotMPS** chemistry. Comparable results were found, and his conclusion is that his findings demonstrate that the DNBSEQ-G400 system*** combined with the HotMPS** chemistry is very suitable for global transcript profiling. He also mentioned that sequencing costs were low with the DNBSEQ-G400***.

This ground-breaking technology certainly brings immense value to the Digital Health, Life Sciences, and Healthcare Industries. Innovation is advancing rapidly. Yet, we cannot always feel the impact and the results right away. MGI created this very special and unique product, HotMPS**, to help us to see the impacts right way in the society and potential to significantly impact humanity like no other. It is worth mentioning that MGI has just made its HotMPS sequencing chemistry and instruments commercially available in the UK as of July 6. 

Partner with Leading Researchers on a large-scale microbiome profiling: Million Microbiomes from Humans Project (MMHP)

MGI at ESHG precision medicine

MGI partnered and collaborated with a group of leading researchers, including Prof. Engstrand, director of the Centre for Translational Microbiome Research, bringing MMHP (Million Microbiomes for Humans Project) to live.

At the ESHG 2022, Prof. Engstrand has shared his findings so far as all the data is generated by the DNBSEQ-G400*** using HotMPS chemistry** in their working fields of expertise. The HotMPS technology** has contributed significantly to the success of this project by facilitating many aspects of the data processing and assuring high quality and high accuracy sequencing at all levels of the information.

The expect result was outstanding, as an outcome MGI enabled metagenomic sequencing for the first 43,000 samples on MGI’s sequencers*. The project gathers scientists from China, Sweden, Denmark, France, and Latvia agreed to collaborate on the large-scale microbial metagenomic project. The results of the project shall be available to the research community.

In a statement, an MGI spokesperson stressed that the company did not deliver any sequencing kits to Engstrand or elsewhere in Sweden after the preliminary injunction resulting from Illumina’s lawsuit took effect. Also, the comparison data Engstrand presented during the workshop was generated at MGI’s Latvia facility.

MGI’s involvement has been crucial to the progress of the “Million Microbiome of Humans Project”, launched at the 14th International Conference on Genomics in 2019. The MMHP aims to sequence and analyze one million intestinal, oral, skin, and reproductive-tract samples and other organs in the next three to five years, with MGI’s sequencing platform* supporting the international scientific endeavor. The project intends to construct a microbiome map of the human body and build the world’s largest database of the human microbiome ever, which will provide vital insights into formulating improved diagnostic and treatment methods for precision medicine.

To conclude, we are experiencing a major revolution in the Healthcare Industry, however, the presence of highly reliable data is still a major challenge, in the article we can really have a sense of what is possible and where we are heading. Precision Medicine combined with Human Genetic diagnostics will be a truly powerful combination, bringing trust, reliability, and impact to the industry as a whole. In long term, the overall diagnosis and medical management of many diseases will be improved, allowing us to treat diseases in the most efficient way.

*Unless otherwise informed, StandardMPS and CoolMPS sequencing reagents, and sequencers for use with such reagents are not available in Germany, USA, Spain, UK, Hong Kong, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Finland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Portugal, Austria, and Romania.

**This sequencing reagent is only available in selected countries.

***This sequencer is only available in selected countries, and its software has been specially configured to be used in conjunction with MGI’s HotMPS sequencing reagents exclusively.

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