Nightingale Health and UK Biobank announce a major initiative which aims to analyse half a million blood samples to facilitate global medical research.
Announced today, this groundbreaking research initiative will see the Finnish innovator of an internationally recognised biomarker technology for studying chronic diseases, Nightingale Health, analyse the biomarkers of 500,000 blood samples from UK Biobank to help global medical research.
What will Nightingale Health analyse?
The organisation’s biomarker profiling technology will be used to analyse the Biobank samples by measuring metabolic biomarkers that recent studies have found help discover predictive future risk for:
- Heart disease;
- Type 2 diabetes; and
- Other common chronic diseases.
Analysing metabolic biomarkers has proved to be difficult due to technological constraints and prohibitive costs; however, new technology from Nightingale has made this process more viable by being able to measure more than 200 metabolic biomarkers in one blood test. This means global medical research will benefit greatly.
Advancing health research
Professor Sir Rory Collins, principal investigator for UK Biobank, said this new combination of biomarker data with the detailed health information will generate many new insights.
He commented: “We are delighted to see these novel blood sample analyses being done in UK Biobank. We already have an enormous amount of information about the lifestyles and genetic make-up of the participants in UK Biobank, as well as about their health, and are currently conducting imaging studies of their brains, hearts and bodies.
“Providing the medical research community with these additional high-quality metabolic biomarker data on such a large scale will enhance discovery science and population science, providing opportunities to benefit patient care and public health.”
“Reflect a risk for future disease onset”
Dr Peter Wurtz, scientific director and founder of Nightingale Health, added: “Analysing 500,000 blood samples from a single study with Nightingale’s comprehensive biomarker profiling technology allows us to uncover metabolic signatures that reflect a risk for future disease onset, as well as their underlying risk factors.
“We anticipate this detailed molecular readout of the health state, combining both lifestyle and genetic makeup, will result in a wealth of scientific applications from the research community. This will be relevant not only to the British population but also yield groundbreaking science and enhanced drug development opportunities with a global public health impact.”
“Supporting innovative medical science”
Nightingale’s CEO and founder, Teemu Suna, concluded: “Nightingale’s mission is strongly linked to scientific evidence generation. This means working with world-leading institutions and biosample collections to continuously improve the understanding of health and disease.
Our aim is to translate this understanding into improved early prediction of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, achieving better healthcare for everyone. Our initiative with the UK Biobank demonstrates Nightingale’s unwavering commitment towards supporting innovative medical science carried out by researchers from across the world.”