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Celera and Collaborators Identify a Five-gene Genetic Risk Score™ that Predicts Risk of Coronary Heart Disease

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Celera, an Applera Corporation business, has announced the publication of results from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study and two independent case-control studies describing the development of a Genetic Risk Score™ (GRS) based on five gene variants that predicts risk for coronary heart disease (CHD).

These variant genes were KIF6, MYH15, PALLD, SNX19, and VAMP8. The GRS of each ARIC participant depended on how many of these risk variants an individual had. After adjusting for traditional risk factors, those individuals with a high risk GRS had a 57% increased risk of incident CHD, which is similar to the magnitude of risk for CHD associated with smoking, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or obesity.

This publication is scheduled to appear in the October 2007 edition of Genetics in Medicine. The lead author was Lance Bare, Ph.D., Associate Director of Cardiovascular Disease at Celera, and the collaborators on the work were investigators from the University of Texas Health Science Center, the Texas Heart Institute, the University of Minnesota, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and the University of San Francisco, CA.

“Physicians need a better assessment of an individual’s risk for coronary heart disease than that obtained using traditional risk factors alone,” said James T. Willerson, M.D., President of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and President-elect Texas Heart Institute, and a co-author on the study. “Applying the results of this research study towards the development of a diagnostic test to determine genetic risk for coronary heart disease could lead to more effective prevention and treatment for patients.”

“The identification of this Genetic Risk Score is a result of a broad collaboration over the past several years involving multiple large studies,” said Thomas J. White, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Celera.

“Celera is committed to bringing personalized disease management to the cardiovascular arena, and following our recent acquisition of Berkeley HeartLab, we think this Genetic Risk Score could complement current clinical practices used to identify individuals at elevated risk for coronary heart disease.”