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A White Paper for Genomics in Horizon Europe

Medical genomics is the application and integration of genomic and other data—including functional genomics, genome structure, genome-scale population genetics, epigenomics, proteomics, systems analysis, and pharmacogenomics—to better understand the genetic basis of drug response and disease.

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A White Paper for Genomics in Horizon Europe Medical genomics is the application and integration of genomic and other data—including functional genomics, genome structure, genome-scale population genetics, epigenomics, proteomics, systems analysis, and pharmacogenomics—to better understand the genetic basis of drug response and disease. This new approach to health care uses the knowledge of an individual’s genomic makeup to identify those at a higher risk of developing certain conditions and intervene at an earlier stage to prevent these diseases. A webinar in July 2020 explored how genomic medicine can contribute to improved health outcomes, in particular concerning the forthcoming European Union Horizon Europe framework programme for research and development. Horizon Europe was officially launched on 2 February 2021 by European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel. Horizon Europe calls for proposals are likely to be published before summer 2021. The webinar outcome is a draft White Paper entitled A White Paper for Genomics in Horizon Europe. The White Paper explores how medical genomics uses genomic data to understand better the genetic and molecular basis of health, disease and drug responses. The major applications are improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease and accelerating the development of new and better diagnostics, drugs and biologicals such as antibodies and vaccines. “Diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are major health issues in the EU and globally. Genomics and the data it produces will help medical researchers develop better diagnostics and therapies and better policy inputs and decision-making tools for patients and healthcare providers. It is important that genomics-based diagnostics become better available to patients in routine healthcare”. Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Kurt Zatloukal, Diagnostic and Research Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Graz, Austria Whilst a key principle of medical genomics is the use of human genome data for the applications listed above, it should also accommodate the genomes of important human-associated microbes (friend and foe) due to their impact on health and disease, including chronic disease. Although genomics can be strictly defined as the use of genome sequence data, it is widely recognized that medical genomics also benefits from the broader omics disciplines (some of which use precisely the same technologies). These can be loosely grouped as functional genomics. The future development of medical genomics should consider the underlying technologies which comprise standardised methods and operational procedures for data acquisition (DNA/RNA sequencing, protein/metabolite analysis, clinical analysis and diverse phenotyping methods such as high-content imaging) and analysis (increasingly reliant on deep learning and other forms of artificial intelligence) as well as data security, and the surrounding ethical issues. “Genomics continues to transform medicine. The development of innovative collaboration models has the potential to speed up the realisation of the promise of precision medicine. By adopting robust policy support, European research investment can accelerate wider utilisation of genomic resources for the benefit of patients globally”. David Kavanagh, PhD, Senior Director of Clinical Partnerships, Genuity Science The White Paper is published at: http://sciencedigitalunga75.com/genomics-white-paper/ It will be shared with policy decision-makers associated with Horizon Europe and related programs at European and EU Member State level. The White Paper will be maintained as a living document and will remain open for comment.