Simons Simplex Collection Data to be Hosted on NextCODE Exchange

NextCODE Health and the Simons Foundation announced a partnership on October 19, 2014 under which the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC) will be hosted on the NextCODE Exchange and made accessible in real time to approved researchers around the world.

NextCODE allows users to access online datasets at full resolution without sending big files, enabling them to use the full power of next-generation sequencing data to better diagnose and treat disease.

The SSC, which comprises genomic sequence and detailed phenotypic data from nearly 2,600 families, is a major global resource for research into the roots of autism spectrum disorders and one of the largest single collections of sequence data anywhere.

The NextCODE Exchange, launched today, uses a unique genomic data architecture to enable clinicians and scientists to analyze massive sequence data and then instantly collaborate and validate their findings with colleagues at raw-read resolution.

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to make SSC exome-sequencing data available on the NextCODE Exchange,” says Alan Packer, senior scientist at the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI). “Early analyses of this rich dataset have been very informative, but we know that there is a great deal more still to be learned from it. Providing the SSC data to the broader autism research community in this format is another way SFARI can pursue its mission of driving rapid scientific progress in the field of autism.”

“We are both pleased and proud to be hosting the SSC on the NextCODE Exchange. The Simons Foundation is a pioneer in assembling large-scale sequence and in making it available to the autism research community to use. Our aim is to use the Exchange to make the SSC even more accessible and valuable, enabling even more scientists to use it and so to accelerate discovery while saving on the time and expense of having to copy and send raw sequence,” says Jeffrey Gulcher, president, chief scientific officer and co-founder of NextCODE.

The SSC is a unique, rigorously characterized data collection designed to support the discovery of rare, de novo (spontaneous) genetic events that increase the risk of developing autism spectrum disorders. The collection’s ‘simplex’ families all have one child with autism, unaffected parents and usually at least one unaffected sibling. Families’ biospecimens and phenotypic and genetic data are available to approved researchers via SFARI Base. Sequencing of SSC data has already yielded 100 candidate genes for autism.