Genomic Medicine Sweden (GMS) was founded in 2018 with the aim of translating innovation in genomics into clinical practice and implementing a sustainable infrastructure for precision medicine in Sweden. GMS receives national funding from the Swedish Innovation Agency, Vinnova, as well as co-funding from the seven regions with university hospitals and the seven Swedish universities medical faculties. We bring together clinicians, researchers, industry, and patient organizations within a single organization with the goals of implementing precision medicine in healthcare and conducting cutting-edge research and development.
GMS aims to pave the way for precision medicine and ultimately improve healthcare across Sweden. Improved diagnostics and individualized treatment will be accomplished through the implementation of large-scale sequencing techniques within healthcare. As new technologies mature, the aim is also to include other “omics” technologies to provide next-generation diagnostics in healthcare.
Focus on three disease areas
The introduction of genomics in the healthcare system is complex and as such GMS undertakes a phased approach. In the initial phases, GMS has been focused on patients with rare inherited diseases, cancer (haematological malignancies, solid tumours and paediatric cancer) and infectious diseases. Pharmacogenomics, whereby specific genomic alterations may provide insights into drug sensitivity and/or resistance and thus help in avoiding adverse events and optimizing drug dosages, also forms part of the initial phases. The next phase encompasses complex diseases including, for example, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases as well as psychiatric illnesses.
A national infrastructure comprised of seven regional centres
Seven regional Genomic Medicine Centres (GMC) have been established across Sweden in Gothenburg, Linköping, Lund, Stockholm, Uppsala, Umeå and Örebro, thereby covering all healthcare regions throughout the country. Each GMC is a collaboration between a regional healthcare provider with university hospital care, a university with a medical faculty and the Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab). These joint centres act as the primary point of contact for sequencing patient samples within healthcare, thereby creating an integrated platform for both healthcare delivery and advanced medical research. Over the coming years GMS will develop methods that enable a standardized introduction of genomic medicine in Swedish healthcare. At the same time, we are establishing a joint national infrastructure that will also facilitate the analysis, interpretation and storage of genetic data.
Research for the future
GMS also acts as a unique resource and translational research hub for identifying disease-causing events that could pave the way for the development of new drugs, innovative healthcare solutions, and enhanced collaboration within the life science sector.
GMS: Facts and figures
- 2018 founded as a national initiative
- 14 partnering regions with university hospital care and universities with a medical faculty
- 7 Genomic Medicine Centres
- 65,000 samples sequenced per year by 2023, covering the majority of Swedish patients with rare diseases and cancer.
The GMS initiative is funded by the Swedish government through the Swedish Innovation Agency, Vinnova, and by the fourteen partnering regions and universities.