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University of Ottawa Heart Institute Uses Affymetrix SNP Array 6.0 to Replicate Whole-genome Association Study Findings

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Affymetrix Inc. has announced that the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) is using the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0 for its whole-genome association study on coronary artery disease (CAD).

Over the next three years, researchers at UOHI will use the array to screen the DNA of more than 12,000 individuals to not only confirm their previous findings, but also to identify new associations that provide scientists with a better understanding of how to identify and develop personalized treatments for the causes of CAD.

With the SNP Array 6.0, researchers are able to use a single, whole-genome panel to analyze larger, multiple sample sets for both the initial scan and replication phases of an association study.

Traditionally, scientists performed initial genome scans using a high-density, whole-genome panel and then validated those results across a larger sample population with custom array technology that focused on a subset of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

The integrated whole-genome panel approach increases the overall genetic power of these studies and further accelerates the gene discovery process by enabling different groups to combine their data from different populations and disorders with overlapping phenotypes.

“Significant research underway at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute will soon enable scientists to isolate, understand and target the trail of genetic activity that causes coronary artery disease, the leading killer in North America,” said Robert Roberts, M.D., president and CEO of UOHI.

“The Affymetrix SNP Array 6.0 is making these types of studies possible—today. We can now interrogate more samples at both the whole-genome level and the replication level, all at a more cost-effective price than with previous methods.”

In May 2007, scientists at UOHI used Affymetrix microarray technology to identify a DNA sequence that is associated with increased susceptibility to heart disease, by as much as 40 percent, regardless of other established risks such as cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes.

“Dr. Roberts and his team at UOHI have made a number of groundbreaking discoveries that may soon lead to more effective, personalized treatments aimed at preventing heart disease,” said Kevin King, president of Affymetrix. “With its industry-leading performance and low genotyping cost, the Affymetrix SNP Array 6.0 is helping researchers around the world uncover the genetic causes of many complex diseases.”