Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2022 Oct 11. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.c.32005. Online ahead of print.
In this Dispatch from Biotech, we briefly review the urgent need for extensive expansion of newborn screening (NBS) by genomic sequencing, and the reasons why early attempts had limited success. During the next decade transformative developments will continue in society and in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, informatics, and medical sectors that enable prompt addition of genetic disorders to NBS by rapid whole genome sequencing (rWGS) upon introduction of new therapies that qualify them according to the Wilson and Jungner criteria (Wilson, J. M. G., & Jungner, G., World Health Organization. (1968). Principles and Practice of Screening for Disease. World Health Organization. Retrieved from https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/37650). Herein we describe plans, progress, and clinical trial designs for BeginNGS (Newborn Genome Sequencing to end the diagnostic and therapeutic odyssey), a new international, pre-competitive, public-private consortium that proposes to implement a self-learning healthcare delivery system for screening all newborns for over 400 hundred genetic diseases, diagnostic confirmation, implementation of effective treatment, and acceleration of orphan drug development. We invite investigators and stakeholders worldwide to join the consortium in a prospective, multi-center, international trial of the clinical utility and cost effectiveness of BeginNGS.