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Genometrix to Validate Osteoporosis SNPs in Japanese Study

NEW YORK, May 9 - Genometrix will work with Nippon Medical School in Tokyo to validate osteoporosis-related SNPs in the Japanese population, the company said Wednesday.

In the study, researchers at Nippon Medical School will screen 100 SNPs against 1,200 clinical patient samples using Genometrix's VistaMorph genotyping technology. They will then use the osteoporosis-related SNPs they find to develop a microarray-based diagnostic and treatment system using Genometrix’s VistaArray microarrays. 

NMS has already tested Genometrix’s technology by genotyping SNPs against samples from Genometrix’s panel of population diversity, and then comparing this data to the medical school’s own data. The two data sets were 100 percent concordant.

“VistaArray technology is the most economical way to meet the demands of the high-throughput studies,” Mitsuru Emi of NMS, the principal investigator on this project, said in a statement. “The VistaArray technology also could be used in clinical applications to assess gene polymorphisms for disease risk."

The project, for which financial details were not disclosed, is being funded through Japan’s government-sponsored Millennium Human Genome Frontier in Science program. The government has budgeted 435 million yen ($3.58 million) for the project

The Japanese study is particularly relevant, according to Genometrix, of The Woodlands, Texas, because being of Asian ancestry is one of the known risks for the disease. Over 10 million Japanese and 28 million Americans are estimated to be at risk for Osteoporosis. The NMS researchers hope to pioneer systems that will enable diagnosis of at-risks individuals before symptoms appear.

"SNP-based diagnostics offers the potential for a dramatic paradigm shift in healthcare," said Bob Ellis, president of Genometrix. "The current process, which requires symptom manifestation prior to diagnosis and treatment, will be superseded by the use of genetic assays to identify individuals' pre-disposition for specific diseases. Personalized treatment options -- which may avoid or minimize the disease -- should then be a viable option." 

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