Norway to join European collaboration for cross-border access to genomic data

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-07 02:49:47|Editor: yan
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OSLO, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Norway said Thursday it has decided to join an ambitious and extensive genomics collaboration with other European countries that will benefit the Nordic country's research, health care and patients.

The goal of this European collaboration is to improve the research quality, the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services said in a statement.

The data can contribute to better prevention, earlier and easier diagnostics, less side effects and more precise prognosis through personalized medicine, it said.

"There is a huge potential for knowledge and medical treatment in genomics. Health care personnel in Norway need access to international databases with genetic information in order to offer the best possible diagnostics and treatments," Norway's Minister of Health Bent Hoie said.

"By entering into this collaboration, Norwegian experts will be able to contribute to the development of these databases," he added.

The Norwegian minister has asked the Norwegian ambassador to the European Union (EU) Rolf Einar Fife to sign the declaration for delivering cross-border access to a genomic database called "1million genomes".

The initiative shall facilitate the exchange of genetic data between local, regional and national databases and biobanks in a secure way which will ensure the protection of personal data.

The goal of the collaboration agreements is to collect 1 million genomes within 2022. The letter of intent between EU/EEA countries was signed in April 2018.

"Having access to this kind of data is especially valuable for cancer medicine and rare diseases. The European collaboration supports existing national and international initiatives in the area," Hoie said.