23andme has been around since 2006 offering DNA testing for individuals who want to find out about themselves and their families. According to their website they are behind “advances in genetics that get people talking. We’re changing the way the world sees genetics.”
So what does a genetics company have to do with lupus and Pfizer?
Actually, a lot, and a chance for gaining information that could lead to more studies and possible finding the cause of lupus and that could lead to a cure.
Pfizer, working with 23andme, aim to enroll 5,000 patients with systemic lupus into a research study.
Belen Carrillo-Rivas, head of research and development innovation projects, BioTherapeutics Research & Development, Pfizer, said: “Pfizer is committed to bringing forward new treatments for patients suffering from lupus. “By enhancing our understanding of the underlying biology of the disease, we hope to better support our clinical research activities and development programmes.”
This study will look at the information gathered to try and uncover any genetic causes of lupus, but more specifically, any that are associated with the onset, progression, and the severity of lupus. It will also look at patient response to their specific lupus treatments.
Margaret Dowd, President and CEO of The Lupus Research Institute says, “Research on human genetics has enormous potential to deliver information that can help improve lupus treatment. The more insights that researchers can gain, the faster safer drugs can be developed.”
Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe CEO and co-founder, said: “The ability to effectively personalise treatments for lupus patients is limited, due in large part to our incomplete understanding of the disease. We hope to change that by studying human genetics alongside environmental and health history factors to ultimately help inform better treatment options for lupus patients.”
If you are interested in signing up for the study, you must meet the following criteria:
- You’ve been diagnosed with lupus by a qualified physician.
- You consent to have 23andMe (via a partner) contact your physician to obtain your medical records.
- You’re willing to submit a saliva sample for DNA testing and complete online surveys related to your condition.
- You are at least 6 years old (minors under 18 require parental consent to enroll).
- You have access to the Internet.
- You reside in the United States.
If you meet this criteria go to https://www.23andme.com/lupus/enroll/, sign up for an account with 23and me, and sign up to donate a saliva sample.
You never know, you could be the one who provides the data that leads to finding the cause of lupus, and ultimately a cure.
From the life of Wanda M. Argersinger