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deCODE to Integrate New Genetic Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes Into Its deCODEme(TM) Personal Genome Scan Service
Date:12/8/2008

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- deCODE genetics (Nasdaq: DCGN) today announced the discovery by an international consortium of scientists from deCODE and major European and US academic institutions of a single letter variation in the human genome (SNP) that is associated with increased fasting glucose levels and risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). deCODE will employ its CLIA-registered genotyping laboratory and existing testing platform to swiftly integrate the finding into its deCODEme(TM) personal genome scan, and to assess the addition of this new variant to the company's deCODE T2(TM) reference laboratory test for assessing individual risk of type 2 diabetes.

The multinational study analyzed a number of SNPs that had been suggestively linked with fasting glucose levels in several major studies involving some 36,000 individuals from Europe and the United States. The analysis identified a version of single SNP within the gene encoding melatonin receptor IB (MTNR1B) that was associated with notable increase in fasting glucose levels. The deCODE team then demonstrated in its Icelandic cohort that this SNP also associated with an increased risk of T2D, a finding that was then replicated in a meta-analysis of data from more than 80,000 cases and controls from Europe and the US. Approximately 10% of the participants in this study carry two copies of the at-risk version of this SNP, putting them at more than 15 percent greater risk of type 2 diabetes than individuals who carry no copies. The paper, entitled "Variants in MTNR1B influence fasting glucose levels," is published today in the online edition of Nature Genetics, and will appear in an upcoming print edition of the journal.

"This finding is another step towards rounding out our understanding of the genetic factors that underpin glucose regulation and
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