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Helix & CDC to Study the Role of Human Genetics in Vaccine Effectiveness

Partnership Will Examine Up to 10,000 Individuals Who Have Had Breakthrough Infections and Severe COVID Outcomes, Despite Full Vaccination

SAN MATEO, Calif. January 4, 2022 — Helix, the leading population genomics and viral surveillance company in the nation, today announced a new Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) contract awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to better understand the role of human genetics in vaccine effectiveness particularly across SARS-CoV-2 variants. This new agreement extends the Company’s viral sequencing leadership and further builds upon Helix’s successful public-private partnership with the CDC.

“The new research conducted by Helix and CDC will uncover meaningful information to better understand and inform what we know of long COVID and other adverse effects. This includes the durability of vaccine-induced immunity, spacing between vaccine doses, and more, all against the backdrop of emerging viral variants within the context of an individual’s underlying human genetics,” said Helix SVP of Life Sciences & Growth Daniel Lee.

The study will examine up to 10,000 individuals who have had breakthrough infections and severe COVID outcomes, despite being fully vaccinated. This dataset will help provide additional information around the underlying genetics and biology of immunogenicity and vaccine effectiveness that varies across the population which can then be used to inform and influence more precise drug development. Currently, few studies formally address the host genetics of vaccine effectiveness, or the interplay between host and viral genetic variation in the context of breakthrough infections.

Today’s BAA announcement continues Helix’s longstanding successful public-private partnership with the CDC since January 2021, when Helix and Illumina established the first public-private partnership with the CDC to launch SARS-CoV-2 variant sequencing as part of national surveillance efforts. In fall 2022, Helix announced an extended agreement with the CDC to provide national surveillance capabilities, and last month announced a partnership with CDC to leverage Helix’s health system partnerships to support pan-respiratory viral surveillance across the US. Helix regularly provides insights to state public health, health systems and other health care institutions, and has published over a dozen pre-print and peer-reviewed publications on viral sequences.

About Helix

Helix is the leading population genomics and viral surveillance company operating at the intersection of clinical care, research, and data analytics. Helix enables health systems, life sciences companies, payers, and government partners to accelerate the integration of genomic data into patient care and public health decision making. Learn more at

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