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Teamwork Between Children’s Health Centers Advances Precision Medicine for Acutely Ill Newborns

Children’s Minnesota   (Children’sMN)


July 11, 2017


Uniting to advance pediatric precision medicine, Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine has signed an agreement with Children’s Minnesota to provide Rapid Whole Genome Sequencing (rWGS) to more effectively treat critically ill infants in Children’s Minnesota’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).


Rady Children’s Institute and Children’s Minnesota share a strong interest in clinical innovation and research collaboration to enhance patient care, decrease health care costs and further the scientific understanding of both rare and common complex genetic diseases in children.


The goal of genomic medicine is to provide personalized care for each child based on a precise diagnosis. The timeliness of the rWGS offered through this collaboration will enable earlier, more targeted medical intervention for children with conditions that are not otherwise readily identifiable.


“The future of pediatric medicine is being transformed by the ability to rapidly decode the genomes of the most fragile newborns to deliver exact diagnoses and targeted treatment,” said Stephen Kingsmore, MD, DSc, president and CEO of Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine.


Through the new collaboration, Children’s Minnesota will be able to send blood samples to the Institute’s clinical genome center in San Diego. There, rapid whole genome sequencing, bioinformatics analysis and clinical interpretation will take place with a goal of delivering an exact diagnosis in as little as two days.


“We are excited to incorporate these genomic findings into the clinical care of our sickest patients in our neonatal intensive care units,” said Nancy Mendelsohn, MD, chief of specialty pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota. “This enables us to quickly customize treatment for these fragile patients and improve or save their lives.”


Since July 2016, Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine has performed rapid whole genome sequencing for over 100 families with acutely ill children enrolled in its research studies. As a result, approximately 40 percent of patients have received a genomic diagnosis with 80 percent of those benefitting from an immediate change in clinical care.


“This is the beginning of our long-term vision to save babies with rare, life-threatening diseases by extending rapid whole genome sequencing to NICUs nationwide,” said the Institute’s Dr. Kingsmore. “Our goal is that more children can be helped by the power of rWGS, and we can prove its clinical utility so ultimately all who need it may have access.”


Children’s Minnesota, Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and Rady Children’s Institute are among the nationwide health centers forming the Sanford Children’s Genomic Medicine Consortium. Inspired by the vision of philanthropist Denny Sanford, the Consortium is committed to advancing children’s medicine through the integration of genomics into pediatric care. Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine and


Children’s Minnesota are the first in the consortium to offer rWGS through collaboration in the Institute’s research studies.


Additional members of the Consortium include Sanford Children’s, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona and Miami Children’s Health System- Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

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