Mountain View, CA August 3, 2011 23andMe, Inc., an industry leader in personal genetics, announced today that it has launched a Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN) research initiative. The first-of-its-kind program will focus on enrolling 1,000 individuals with these rare blood cancers in the 23andMe Personal Genome Service and its new MPN community. MPNs are a group of blood and bone marrow diseases that are characterized by abnormal levels of myeloid cells (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets). The MPN cohort will allow 23andMe to both advance research and create an online forum dedicated to connecting individuals and families affected by these diseases.
Dr. Jason Gotlib and Dr. James Zehnder from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Cancer Center, serve as expert advisors and research collaborators. Dr. Gotlib brings his experience in clinical hematology and leadership in numerous phase I/II trials of novel therapies for MPNs. Dr. Zehnder, Professor in the Department of Hematology and Department of Pathology, contributes his expertise in MPN molecular diagnostics.
"For people living with MPNs, 23andMe's initiative creates a community of self advocacy by encouraging large numbers of patients to directly engage in research," said Dr. Gotlib. "The combination of survey data on MPN diagnosis, symptom burden and treatment, in conjunction with evaluation of inherited genetic factors, will accelerate understanding of these diseases at both the individual and population level."
This group of rare blood cancers includes myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and chronic myelogenous leukemia as the most common types. The cause of MPN is not known. Although these conditions are orphan diseases, taken together, approximately 5,000-10,000 patients are diagnosed with these diseases yearly in the United States.
"I joined 23andMe in early 2007 with great excitement over an
|Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein|