2018: European “1+ Million Genomes” Initiative launched

Nominated by: Voisin Consulting Life Sciences

The European “1+ Million Genomes” Initiative builds from the achievements of the Human Genome Project and aims to have at least 1 million sequenced genomes available in the EU by 2022. The initiative aims to ensure secure, federated access to genomic data with ethical and legal implications of genomics fully considered. Research access to genomic data can enhance personalised medicine research, healthcare delivery and industry development of novel diagnostics and therapies, especially in rare diseases where patient options are still often limited.

The ‘1+ Million Genomes’ (1+MG) initiative brings together 22 EU countries, in addition to the UK and Norway, with the intention to promote public-private partnerships such as those seen in the Innovative Medicines Initiative, which brought together the world’s pharma, biotech, university and patient communities for ground-breaking pre-competitive research..  The initiative has the following supporting aims:

  • ensuring that appropriate technical infrastructure is available across the EU, allowing for secure, federated access to genomic data;
  • making sure that ethical and legal implications of genomics are clear and taken into account;
  • ensuring that the general public and policy makers in Member States and signatory countries are well informed about genomics, in order to ensure its uptake by healthcare systems and integration into personalised healthcare.

The project ‘Beyond 1 Million Genomes’ (B1MG) was established in 2020, with 28 participants from 25 countries to support initiative aims, primarily by addressing policies with citizen engagement and increasing genomic literacy.

In late 2020, the Commission created a special expert group (1+MG Group) with a view to formalising and facilitating the cooperation and coordination at the level of national representatives of the signatory countries. The group is co-chaired by the Commission and an EU country representative.



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