Nashville Biosciences (NB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), has announced a partnership with five major pharmaceutical companies to form the Alliance for Genomic Discovery. The five pharma companies in this effort include Abbvie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer and Merck. These five companies are joined by Illumina, which previously announced its alliance with NB. The partnership provides funding to whole-genome sequence (WGS) at least 250,000 DNA samples, each tied to de-identified electronic medical records, to create the world’s largest database of its kind. These data promise to greatly accelerate development of new therapeutics and diagnostics for human disease and expand the diversity of genomic data through equitable sourcing.

“By leveraging VUMC’s genomic and bioinformatics data, Nashville Biosciences will provide a roadmap for companies that will change medicine for decades to come,” said Dr. Samuel Lynch, DMD, DMSc, founder and chairman of BioTN Foundation and member of Life Science Tennessee. “This historic partnership will make data collected in Tennessee the reason millions of lives are saved across the world.”

As a member of the Boards of Directors of both NB and VUMC, Dr. Lynch advised NB’s and VUMC’s executive management on the transaction, assisted in development of the NB strategy, and advocated for maintaining focus on this momentous transaction. This deal is significant to the entire state’s life science community, amplifying the region’s life science capabilities to a world audience.

“Because of Tennessee visionaries stemming from Vanderbilt and Nashville, along with the shared vision of some of the world’s most innovative pharmaceutical companies, promising new technologies are in the horizon to help treat unmet medical conditions and Tennessee is a major part of that story,” said Life Science Tennessee Executive Director Abby Trotter.

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About BioTN Foundation

BioTN is a 501c3 foundation co-founded by Drs. Sam Lynch and Leslie Wisner-Lynch to promote, within the state of Tennessee, the Southeastern U.S. and beyond: 1. Knowledge of, and education in, STEM and the biosciences; 2. Innovation and entrepreneurship in STEM and the biosciences; and 3. The positive impact of STEM and the biosciences on human health. Dr. Leslie Wisner-Lynch served as Gov. Phil Bredesen’s Designated Chair for the STEM Advisory Council for the STEM Innovation Network as part of Tennessee’s $500M Race to the Top federal education reform funding program. We believe that through investment in three critical areas—education, workforce development and entrepreneurship—our state will continue to grow into a major hub of research and development that will improve the lives of Tennesseans, as well as those that benefit from Tennessee products around the world.

About Life Science Tennessee

Life Science Tennessee is a statewide, nonprofit, member organization whose mission is to advance and grow the life science industry in Tennessee through advocacy, partnerships and alignment with economic and workforce development. Members include companies, universities, research institutions, government and economic development groups and other industry associations involved in discovery and application of life science products and related services that improve the health and wellbeing of people throughout the world. LST conducts business and economic development activities; advocates on behalf of the industry; educates the public about the benefits of life sciences research and product development; and provides a network for the exchange of ideas, information and opportunities.

About Nashville Biosciences

Nashville Biosciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), was created to harness the Medical Center’s extensive genomic and bioinformatics resources for drug and diagnostics discovery and development. Leveraging Vanderbilt University innovation, Nashville Biosciences serves as a commercial interface between outside companies and the formidable research capabilities housed within VUMC, including BioVU®, one of the world’s most comprehensive genetic databases linked to de-identified medical records with years of longitudinal clinical data. This unique asset is one of the largest and highest-quality of its kind, providing an opportunity to guide R&D activity in biotech, pharma, diagnostics, medical devices, and other life sciences applications. For more information, please visit

Read more about the historic partnership: