State-Funded Initiative Aims To Improve Access To Quick Genetic Testing For Babies Covered By Medi-Cal
Project Baby Bear will work with infants on Medi-Cal from four different cities: Fresno, Oakland, Sacramento and San Diego. Blood samples will be dispatched to Rady Children's Hospital's high-speed sequencing lab in San Diego, where the institute’s team of geneticists will use custom software to quickly look for genetic markers of disease.
Test That Quickly Identifies Illnesses In Babies Expanding To More California Hospitals
Rady Children's Hospital Wednesday announced its participation in a new state-funded program to provide genome testing and sequencing to critically ill newborns. Under the $2 million Medi-Cal program titled Project Baby Bear, the hospital will use rapid whole-genome sequencing as a diagnostic test for babies in intensive care. Pediatricians from the Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine will administer genome sequencing as a diagnostic tool on babies at four participating hospitals statewide. (Hoffman, 9/26)
The San Diego Union-Tribune:
Rady Lands $2 Million Grant That Could Bring High-End Genetic Diagnosis To Kids On Medi-Cal
The goal is to derive genetic diagnoses for at least 100 children admitted to neonatal intensive care units (NICU) in their communities with severe but unexplained symptoms. Blood samples will be dispatched to Rady’s high-speed sequencing lab in San Diego, where the institute’s team of geneticists will use custom software to quickly look for genetic markers of disease. The institute recently set the Guiness world record for whole-genome sequencing, and is already working with several other children’s hospitals across the nation to make gene-based diagnoses as quickly as possible. Speed is of the essence because many children with severe seizures, metabolic disorders or other maladies often die before doctors can hit on the right combination of medications. (Sisson, 9/26)