US personal genetics company 23andMe Inc said Tuesday it had partnered with Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) to study the genetic factors related to the onset, progression, severity and response to therapies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), whose exact cause is still unknown and there is no cure.
The research, set to include 10,000 IBD patients in the USA, is aimed at investigating the underlying genetics of the disease, which may result in the development of novel or better therapies for it.
Under the collaboration, 23andMe will provide for free its Personal Genome Service, including ancestry analysis and uninterpreted raw genetic results, to all participants. The company will enroll people who are not its current customers and have also been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis by a clinician. The participants will have to consent to provide a DNA sample (saliva), answer online surveys, as well as agree to share their data with study investigators.
Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that nearly 1.4 million people in the USA have IBD.