Montreal, QC, June 29, 2021— A robust collection of data from Quebecers with severe and non-severe COVID-19, as well as from controls, was made available today to the research community. Those working to better understand COVID-19 can access clinical and genomic data emanating from 870 Biobanque québécoise de la COVID-19 (BQC19) participants. It’s the first set of data that the federally and provincially funded, multi-institutional initiative has released, representing just under a third of the patients who have agreed to participate in the project.
“We’re very pleased to announce this important milestone for the Biobanque,” says BQC19 Director Vincent Mooser. “This resource will help many researchers and public health agencies better understand and predict the clinical trajectory of this disease, as well as look for new diagnostic tests and cures.”
Mooser, who is also Canada Excellence Research Chair in Genomic Medicine at McGill University, is grateful to participants from around the province who consented to have their data and blood collected to help understand and fight COVID-19. To date, 2,858 Quebecers have donated blood samples at nine different clinical sites in four Quebec regions, with datasets from 870 participants making up the first vetted tranche.
The uniqueness of the overall BQC19 collection lies in both the makeup of its participants and the turn-key aspect to its analytical data. Samples come from participants who have not only tested positive for the virus but also those controls whose tests came back negative. Meanwhile, the biosamples have gone through additional analyses, including whole genome sequencing, transcriptomics and metabolomics. (For the complete list, see the Study Design page.
“Sharing our collection with the researchers is really what defines the BQC19,” says BQC19 Co-Director Simon Rousseau, who is also a professor in the Department of Medicine at McGill and a researcher at the RI-MUHC’s Meakins-Christie Laboratory. “We’re looking to the epidemiologists, virologists, immunologists and public-health researchers, as well as social scientists who use COVID-19 clinical data. It’s these scientists, sending in requests for all this recently released material, who will bring to life this important resource. We hope to hear from a variety of people who want to further their research projects.”
Interested applicants can begin the request process any time by visiting the site’s Access to Data page.