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Invitae to Provide Genetic Testing Within eMERGE Population Screening Study

NEW YORK – Invitae on Thursday said it will provide genetic testing for a population screening study within the eMERGE network, in which researchers hope to explore the genetic underpinnings of cancer, heart disease, and other conditions.

Within eMERGE, which was started by the National Human Genome Research Institute in 2007, a network of multi-disciplinary researchers uses biorepositories and electronic medical records to develop protocols for determining the genomic risk of diseases within populations. The program, which also examines the ethics of using biorepositories and EMRs in genomics research, entered its fourth phase in July 2020.

Invitae is a new clinical affiliate within eMERGE and will conduct genetic testing for up to 25,000 patients within a population screening study to identify biomarkers associated with coronary artery disease, hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, and Lynch syndrome. Researchers are hoping to enroll participants from communities that lack access to healthcare or have poor outcomes, as well as minorities typically not included in studies.

In addition to genetic testing, Invitae will provide cascade testing to research participants' family members. Study participants will also interact with Invitae's Gia chatbot to receive pre-test education and learn about their results.

By joining eMERGE, the company hopes to "not only help provide information that study participants can use to improve their health but also contribute important findings that may improve healthcare for all," Invitae Chief Medical Officer Robert Nussbaum said in a statement.