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Datavant, Cerebral Palsy Research Network Seek Genetic Clues to CP

NEW YORK – Datavant said Thursday that it is joining with the Cerebral Palsy Research Network to investigate the genetic basis of cerebral palsy.

Researchers at the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children's Hospital and the University of Utah will employ technology from the San Francisco-based health data integrator and analytics firm in search of genetic markers for CP. Datavant software will analyze genomic mutations linked to the disease to patient characteristics in the Cerebral Palsy Research Network's registry.

The study, which will run through the end of 2024, will involve whole-exome sequencing of CP patients and both biological parents. According to the CP Research Network, about one-quarter of people with cerebral palsy may have a genetic cause for their condition, and detection of a genetic cause leads to a change in care plans 28 percent of the time.

"This study represents an important advance and will couple cutting-edge genomic discoveries with real-time clinical data in order to bring precision medicine to the CP community," Michael Kruer, director of the Pediatric Movement Disorders Program at Barrow Neurological Institute, said in a statement.

"Data fragmentation today prevents researchers from having the complete view into a patient's history. Our partnership with the CP Research Network will enable researchers to gain a deeper understanding of the genetic basis of cerebral palsy, improving our understanding of this disease and in turn, enabling faster development of therapies," added Datavant CEO Travis May.

The study is funded by the US National Institutes of Health.