Research Aims To Find the Genetic Causes of IBD

Merged study aims to reveal genetic causes of IBD

Research Aims To Find the Genetic Causes of  IBD

By Crohn's Connect Staff Published at August 25, 2014 Views 1,842

A joint effort between two leading scientific companies may reveal valuable information about the genetic factors which affect the onset, severity and treatment options for different forms of inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used in reference to two conditions: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions, which according to Marketwatch are believed to affect more than 1.4 million individuals in the United States alone, manifest themselves by the body's immune system attacking the bowel, leading to continuous intestinal distress.

The two companies in question, Pfizer and 23andMe, intend to enroll as many as 10,000 sufferers of IBD in their study, according to Reuters. 23andMe was founded in 2006 and has carved a niche in the medical research industry as a leader regarding genetics. One of their products, the Personal Genome Service, will be of particular importance to the study. This product, which will be administered to all participants, provides detailed analysis of one's genetic ancestry and inherited traits through a series of DNA samples.

Pfizer, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies globally, hopes to aid their knowledge of Crohn's disease treatment based on the genetic information gathered by 23andMe in this survey. Jose Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, the senior vice president of biotherapeutics research and development for Pfizer, reiterated this in a statement to Marketwatch.

"Pfizer is committed to bringing forward new treatments for patients suffering with IBD," said Gutierrez-Ramos. "By enhancing our understanding of the underlying biology of the disease, we hope to better support our clinical research activities and development programs."

The study, which is currently only open to residents of the United States, will involve a series of DNA samples taken from the participants’ saliva, self-response surveys and clinical analysis by scientists from Pfizer and 23andMe.

To learn more about Crohn's disease:

Traveling with Crohn’s Disease
Understanding Crohn’s Disease
10 Best Foods for Crohn’s Disease

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