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GEN News Highlights : Oct 21, 2013

Claritas Partners with Life Tech, Lockheed to Sequence Military Veteran Exomes

As part of a project that reportedly is one of the largest sequencing initiatives ever undertaken in the U.S., the Department of Veterans Affairs awarded Claritas Genomics a $9 million contract toward the exome sequencing of veteran samples including those from the Million Veteran Program (MVP) over the next 12 months.

For this project, Claritas Genomics, a genetic testing company spun out of Boston Children's Hospital earlier this year that primarily focuses on pediatric medicine, is receiving support from Life Technologies and its Ion Proton™ sequencing technology; Alvarez and Associates, which is providing technical support; and Lockheed Martin, which will be applying data security knowledge to help manage all the data that will be generated during the sequencing process.

MVP, a research program launched in 2011, is combining genetic, health, lifestyle, and military-exposure data collected from questionnaires, medical records, and genetic analyses all into a single database. MVP has more than 210,000 enrollees to date, and it is hoped that up to a million veterans in the VA study will enroll over the next five to six years. 

"As a U.S. military veteran, I am proud of the fact that my company is able to serve those individuals who were/are willing to sacrifice all in service to our country," said Everett Alvarez, Jr., CEO at Alvarez & Associates, in a statement. "I feel that this effort will greatly improve our ability to understand and better assist those veterans in need as well as the future generations of veterans."