FinnGen research results integrated into Open Targets Genetics

Open Targets is an innovative, large-scale public-private partnership that uses human genetics and genomics data for systematic drug target identification and prioritisation. We are pleased to announce that the publicly available FinnGen results have now been integrated into the brand new version 5 of the Open Targets Genetics Portal!

The Open Targets Genetics Portal identifies targets based on genome-wide association studies and functional genomics. It highlights variant-centric statistical evidence to allow both prioritisation of candidate causal variants at trait-associated loci and identification of potential drug targets. This analysis feeds into the Open Targets Platform, which integrates a range of publicly available data to build and score associations between targets and diseases. 

FIMM is coordinating the ambitious FinnGen study, a large public-private partnership aiming to collect and analyse genome and health data from 500,000 Finnish biobank participants. FinnGen aims on one hand to provide novel medically and therapeutically relevant insights but also construct a world-class resource that can be applied for future studies.

“The rich phenotypic information and special characteristics of the FinnGen data make it a very high priority resource for Open Targets to advance genetic-based target identification and prioritisation. We are looking forward to providing our analysis and views of FinnGen data through the Open Targets Genetics Portal”, said Ian Dunham, the Director of Open Targets.

The portal aggregates and merges genetic associations curated from literature and newly-derived loci from UK Biobank with open source functional genomics data including epigenetics and quantitative trait loci. Collaborative work with the GWAS catalog allows Open Targets to include data from genome-wide summary statistics including UK Biobank. From the latest FinnGen public data release (DF5), Open Targets has included every endpoint with at least one genome-wide significant locus, a total of 1,267 endpoints.

"Open Targets has for years been invaluable to us and many in the interpretation of emerging genetic discoveries in real time. We are thrilled that FinnGen results will now be prominently available in Open Targets as this will certainly increase the value and utility of our work to the genetics community", said Mark Daly, the Director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM at the University of Helsinki.

"The unique genetic make-up of the Finnish population as a result of the historic isolation then expansion makes FinnGen an incredibly valuable resource to discover novel disease-associated variants that are either unique or highly enriched in the Finnish population. We are very excited to see genetic breakthroughs from FinnGen integrated into Open Targets Genetics. This in combination with Finland’s decades-long investments in population-wide medical registry data offers enormous opportunities to identify novel therapeutic targets and validate existing ones. Gaining novel insights into the genetic underpinning of diseases and traits will inevitably accelerate and foster clinical translation”, said Maya Ghoussaini, Genetic Analysis Team Leader, Open Targets.

Read more from the Open Targets Blog post