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Parkinson's Foundation, Tasso Partner on Sample Collection for Genetic Study

NEW YORK — The Parkinson's Foundation said on Tuesday that it has struck a deal to use a blood collection device from Tasso in its ongoing PD GENEration: Mapping the Future of Parkinson's Disease initiative.

Launched in 2019, PD GENEration is a nationwide genetics project that is sequencing and analyzing Parkinson's disease (PD) patient samples with the goal of accelerating clinical trials, building a database linking genetic status to clinical status, and gaining insights into disease progression and symptom severity to help guide treatment.

According to the Parkinson's Foundation and Tasso, participants will begin receiving kits containing a Tasso device for the at-home collection of small blood samples with the assistance of live, online doctors. Participants will be able to ship their sample in a prepaid box to an accredited laboratory for analysis to identify mutations in a number of select, clinically relevant PD genes.

"The data shared from PD GENEration will drive scientific research forward and improve the understanding of Parkinson’s disease," Parkinson's Foundation Senior VP and CSO James Beck said in a statement. "With Tasso as our partner, we now have a viable platform to enable our ambitious goal of whole-genome sequencing, which offers a promising pathway to better understand the genetics of PD and to facilitate research toward new therapies for PD."

In mid-2023, initial results from a PD GENEration trial were published, pointing to the feasibility of wider PD genetic testing.