NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Lupus Research Institute, 23andMe, and Pfizer today announced the launch of a 5,000-patient study to investigate the genetics of lupus.
23andMe announced it would conduct the longitudinal study in January as part of a broader collaboration with Pfizer to conduct genome-wide association studies.
The goal of the lupus study is to improve understanding of the genetic and environmental factors involved in causing the autoimmune disease that impacts 1.5 million people in the US. Researchers will begin enrolling patients in May, which also happens to be dedicated to raising awareness of lupus, an incurable, poorly understood illness where the body's immune system attacks healthy tissues.
The focus of the study is to uncover the genetic markers that are related to disease onset, progression, and treatment response. 23andMe is planning to recruit new patients for this study, as well as reach out to existing customers who will have to give new consent in order to participate. Researchers expect to finish patient recruitment by next year.
Pfizer and 23andMe are also collaborating on researching the genetics of inflammatory bowel disease in a 10,000-patient study.