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Pilot Newfoundland and Labrador Study Kicks Off

A Canadian company is launching the pilot phase of its NL Genome Project, which aims to collect genetic data from residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, The Compass reports.

Michael Phillips, chief scientific officer of the firm, Sequence Bio, notes in a statement that Newfoundland's founder population has large pedigrees and detailed medical histories, which would enable the firm to uncover new drug targets. In particular, the Compass notes the people of Newfoundland and Labrador have high rates of diseases like type 1 diabetes and familial colorectal cancer.

CBC adds that the firm hopes to enroll 2,500 individuals in the study, and that 300 people have agreed so far to take part. It notes, though, that a provincial authority that oversees human research proposals rejected two of Sequence Bio's earlier project proposals and that the firm took the ethics board to court to argue that applications had to be ruled on within 30 days. This, it says, has made the "small genetic research community [there] wary" of the firm. Sequence Bio says, though, that it wants to move on from that, it adds.