MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA December 4, 2012 23andMe has received grants totaling $573,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support three projects that utilize 23andMe's unique web-based research platform. These include projects to better understand the genetics of allergies; to assess accuracy of new sequencing technologies in clinical applications; and to develop tools that will take advantage of the genotypic and phenotypic information in the 23andMe database to further accelerate the pace of human genetic research.
"These NIH grants recognize the ability of 23andMe's unique, web-based research platform to accelerate our understanding of human genetics," said Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of 23andMe. "23andMe is pleased to bring public funding to bear on data and research driven by the public our more than 180,000 customers."
The first of the grants will support genome wide association studies (GWAS) to discover genetic factors affecting allergic disease risk, and to assess gene environment interactions, as well as treatment responses. Asthma and allergies are extremely common, affect one in five Americans, and represent a substantial public health burden. GWAS of complex traits with both genetic and environmental contributions such as allergies - are most effective when a large cohort is used in the study. The 23andMe research cohort includes more than 25,000 individuals reporting one or more allergies, more than 8,000 reporting an asthma diagnosis and more than 5,000 reporting having eczema. In addition, the 23andMe research cohort includes more than 100,000 individuals serving as controls.
Identifying genetic associations improves understanding of disease mechanisms in the body and can inform work towards improved diagnostics and treatments of allergic conditions.
"This grant will enable 23andMe to effectively partner with leading experts and researchers in the genetics of asthma and allergies," said
|Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein|