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Geisinger and Celera to collaborate on liver disease test
Date:2/19/2008

ourage patients to lose weight by adopting a low-carbohydrate, low-fat diet and recommend more aggressive control of the often coincident diabetes, dyslipidemia and hypertension, explained Geisinger scientist Glenn S. Gerhard, M.D.

Understanding the natural history of NAFLD and NASH, especially identification of those patients with or at risk for NASH represents a critical unmet diagnostic need in liver disease, said Scott Friedman M.D., Fishberg Professor of Medicine and Chief of Liver Diseases at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and a member of the Charles Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine. Associations of disease with various gene variants are beginning to provide keen insight into disease mechanisms that may be shared by multiple diseases.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease has proven extremely difficult to study, in part because investigators dont have access to well-characterized samples with information on patient outcomes. Multiple sample sets are vital for the replication of genetic association studies, said John Sninsky, Ph.D., Vice President, Discovery Research, at Celera.

"Currently a needle liver biopsy is the only way to definitively diagnose the disease so the development of a blood test to detect NAFLD risk would be a tremendous benefit to patients," said Christopher D. Still, DO, Director of the Center for Nutrition and Weight Management and physician researcher on the project.

Jim Peters, Geisinger Ventures Senior Director and CEO of MedMining, Geisingers data business, noted, Together, Geisinger and Celera bring a synergy of experience and expertise to the table.

According to Geisinger Ventures Director Bryan Allinson, This academic entrepreneurial collaboration will help advance personalized medicine to practical clinical use, which is all part of Abigail Geisingers mission to make patient care The Best.


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Contact: Patti Urosevich
570-271-7441
Geisinger Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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