ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) is a clinical trial and longitudinal study of healthy ageing, involving 16,703 Australians aged over 70 years and 2,411 Americans aged over 65 enrolled. The primary ASPREE trial has received >$60M in NIH funding since 2012. Each ASPREE participants’ health is tracked longitudinally through extensive phenotyping and collection of clinical outcome data. The ASPREE Healthy Ageing Biobank is an associated biorepository of blood, saliva and urine samples from >15,000 ASPREE participants, 10,000 of whom have now provided a matched follow-up 3-year sample. Biospecimens are consented for genetic and biomarker studies, enabling ASPREE to conduct molecular epidemiology and healthy ageing research. ASPREE facilitates over 12 sub-studies funded through NHMRC.

ASPREE has completed whole genome sequencing on 2000 of the oldest, cancer-free Australian participants in partnership with the Kinghorn Centre / Garvan Institute as part of the Medical Genome Reference Bank (MGRB) project. In addition, targeted DNA sequencing using a 750-gene super-panel is underway on all ASPREE samples in collaboration with the Resilience Project, a US-led effort to discover protective factors through identification of individuals with highly pathogenic variants who lack typical signs and symptoms of disease well beyond the expected age of onset. This ASPREE DNA sequencing efficiently identifies rare coding variants in clinically significant genes, of interest to the clinical community for monogenic disease research.

Bioplatforms Australia partnered with the ASPREE program leaders from Monash University to generate SNP array data for ASPREE to enable new research possibilities across a broad range of phenotypes, particularly those relevant to chronic diseases of ageing such as dementia, CVD, stroke, diabetes, age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This has seeded new partnerships and collaborations between ASPREE and the broader research community within Australia and the US.

SNP data is being analysed alongside the high-quality ASPREE phenotype and clinical data already collected, and add new dimensions to existing ASPREE sub-studies (AMD, Depression, FRACTURE, and NUEROimaging).

The NSP profiling of the ASPREE cohort was completed in 2018 by Bioplatforms Australia supported Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics at UNSW.

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