Navarrabiomed launches NAGENCOL, an initiative to use whole-genome sequencing to offer patients with hypercholesterolemia personalised treatment to avoid coronary events
High-cholesterol levels, or hypercholesterolemia, affects nearly 1500-2500 people in Navarra, and less than 20 per cent of them are not aware that they suffer from this condition. Hypercholesterolemia is considered to cause 22 per cent of coronary events, most of which could be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment. The biomedical research centre Navarrabiomed has launched NAGENCOL, a project to address this issue using whole-genome sequencing as a diagnostic tool to offer personalised treatment to patients who suffer from hypercholesterolemia. The project is framed within NAGEN, a global strategy aimed at applying genomic medicine in the Navarra Health System-Osasunbidea (SNS-O).
Currently, hypercholesterolemia poses a real challenge to the public health system, because the life expectancy of untreated patients can decrease by 25 years, and 50 per cent of them are more likely to have a heart attack before the age of 55. NAGENCOL addresses this problem, offering a new model that uses genomic information, together with other clinical and demographic data, to bring precision medicine to individual patients.
This ambitious public health project has a budget of 2 million Euro, contributed by the Department of Economic Development at the Directorate-General for Industry, Energy and Innovation of the Government of Navarra, within the framework of the Genomics and Advanced Medicine project (GEMA) and the Intelligent Specialisation Strategy S3.
The NAGENCOL activities are managed by five strategic partners specialising in clinical practice, scientific and technical services, and research. They include the Navarra Hospital Complex (CHN), Nasertic, Tracasa Instrumental SL and Navarrabiomed as the leader of the study. The project is headed by Dr Ander Ernaga and Dr Juan Pablo Martínez from the Endocrinology Service at CHN.
Since 2016, Navarrabiomed has been leading the Genomic Medicine Strategy (NAGEN) of the Navarra Health System-Osasunbidea. With the support of the Government of Navarra, Navarrabiomed has since coordinated two strategic projects: NAGEN 1000 (best precision medicine project award winner in 2018) and Pharmanagen.
The two initiatives, along with NAGENCOL, are being used to set up, in the SNS-O patient care units, the infrastructure required for using genomic data as a powerful diagnostic tool and to determine the best personalised treatment for each patient.