The Trust is among 170 NHS providers actively recruiting COVID-19 patients to participate in a ground-breaking new study of the disease. The study has been set up to help them better understand the virus’ varied effects on people and support the search for treatments by examining the genomes of 20,000 people who are severely ill with COVID-19.
17 patients from Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust have joined with 2,000 patients already recruited to the GenOMICC study – a partnership between the GenOMICC Study Consortium (led by the University of Edinburgh) and Genomics England.
The data collected by the Trust will be compared to that from a further 15,000 COVID-19 patients who experienced only mild symptoms. This data will be collected from participants in the 100,000 Genomes Project and UK Biobank.
This ground-breaking research may help explain why some patients with COVID-19 experience a mild infection, others require intensive care and why for some it is sadly fatal. By discovering why some people are predisposed to developing life-threatening symptoms, the initiative will enable novel insights into the virus, as well as possible human factors that influence the effects of the disease, and whether a combination of both shape outcomes for NHS patients.
Chris Wigley, CEO of Genomics England said: “NHS Trusts are absolutely vital to the national response to this terrible pandemic, so I am extremely glad that Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has joined our efforts to gain new insights into how this virus affects us. With their help, and with the support and understanding of thousands of patients and their families, we hope we will be able to build identify treatments which have the best chance of success in clinical trials, and build on the work of the 100,000 Genomes Project to develop strong infrastructure for the future.”