Illumina Inc.,  a provider of DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, and Henry Ford Health, a not-for-profit healthcare organization in the Detroit metro area, launched a partnership to assess the impact of comprehensive genomic testing in cardiovascular disease

The first study under this new partnership, CardioSeq, will include 1500 patients receiving care from the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Henry Ford.

The Lisa and Christopher Jeffries Center for Precision Medicine and the Center for Individualized and Genomic Medicine Research at Henry Ford Health will conduct a series of implementation and clinical studies that will investigate the use of next-generation sequencing tests, including whole-genome sequencing (WGS), to assess their impact on clinical care. The studies will focus on cardiovascular disease, an area that imposes a substantial clinical and economic burden on the healthcare ecosystem, with a particular interest in diverse and underserved populations.

“This study is the first of several that will measure the impact of whole-genome sequencing in patients with cardiovascular disease,” says David Lanfear, MD, vice president of clinical and translational research at Henry Ford Health and the study’s lead clinician. “What we’re initially most interested in is the rate of the change in medical management due to the genetic information, but eventually we will be looking at differences in cost and clinical outcomes as well.”

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally, including in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. A patient’s genetic make-up plays an important role in determining their risk of developing cardiovascular disease and how they respond to commonly prescribed medications. 

“We are honored to partner with Henry Ford Health to assess the potential benefits of integrating genomic testing within specialized care centers in the health care system,” says Phil Febbo, MD, chief medical officer of Illumina. “We share the belief that genomics should be integrated into standard of care across clinical indications as one of the key determinants of health. We intend for our partnership to demonstrate the benefits of such an approach for individual patients and the broader health care system, especially in underserved communities.”

The CardioSeq study will use an accredited clinical test developed by Illumina that employs WGS to create a comprehensive cardiovascular genomic profile. Genomic profiling can provide clinicians and patients a more complete picture to base risk management and care planning decisions. This information could help facilitate early diagnosis and reduce unanticipated side effects, tests, and medical visits.

Whole-Genome Sequencing Test

The WGS test used in CardioSeq will screen each patient for more than 200 genetic causes of cardiovascular disease as well as the American College of Medical Geneticists and Genomics’ recommended secondary findings genes, which are associated with known inherited conditions for which interventions are available to mitigate the onset or severity of the clinical outcome.

The test also returns pharmacogenetic results, based on Food and Drug Administration and Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium guidelines, yielding valuable insights into how an individual will respond to a particular drug, based on their DNA.

Genetic counselors will report any inherited disease findings to participating patients and offer them additional education. Pharmacists will review all pharmacogenetic findings and make indicated recommendations. The findings will also be shared with the patients’ physicians. 

Henry Ford researchers aim to complete testing for all 1500 CardioSeq participants in 2024. With the patients’ consent, their samples and clinical data will also be used by the partners for discovery efforts in genomic medicine to further the field of cardiovascular wellness and treatment.

Featured image: Illumina today announced the launch of a partnership with Henry Ford Health, to assess the impact of comprehensive genomic testing in cardiovascular disease care. The first study under this new partnership, CardioSeq, launches today and will include 1500 patients at Henry Ford Health. Shown here, Dr. David Lanfear, vice president of clinical and translational research at Henry Ford and the study’s lead clinician. Photo: Ray Manning for Henry Ford Health