Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Michael J. Fox Foundation Grants $4M to 23andMe for New Parkinson's Disease Collaboration

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and 23andMe announced today that they are building a research cohort of "tens or even hundreds of thousands of patients" who consent to participate in research and contribute data on Parkinson's disease.

The partners said that the cohort will provide researchers, drugmakers, regulators, and payors with "critical insight into the lived experience, genetics, and variability" of the illness. Starting next year, study participants with and without the disease can share their data with researchers through an online digital platform called Fox Insight.

"Fox Insight amplifies the patient voice in research and enables high-impact scientific collaboration toward patient-relevant outcomes," MJFF CEO Todd Sherer said in a statement. "Our expanded partnership with 23andMe holds potential to illuminate new pathways to treatment breakthroughs by coupling genetic insights with the power of patient-reported phenotypic data."

The digital platform, which the foundation has developed with $6 million, will be used for the enrollment of a diverse cohort through mechanisms such as remoted biological sample collections and online data collection. Scientists will use the deidentified data collected via the platform for their own Parkinson's studies. 

Parkinson’s patients enrolled in Fox Insight can choose to receive free genetic testing through 23andMe and contribute their data to research. MJFF is funding the genetic testing, data storage, and maintenance with a $4 million grant to 23andMe.

23andMe's Parkinson's disease research community has already enrolled 12,000 patients from 2009 to 2017 who contribute genetic and phenotypic data for research. "This will open new opportunities for researchers to correlate clinical features of PD with underlying, individual genetic biology for better drug design toward precision medicine," 23andMe added.