WALTHAM, Mass., May 1 Interleukin Genetics, Inc.(Amex: ILI), today announced publication of the results of clinical studiesthat support the company's Heart Health Genetic Test to assess cardiovascularrisk. The article, titled, "IL1B Gene Promoter Haplotype Pairs PredictClinical Levels of Interleukin-1beta and C-reactive Protein," was published inthe journal Human Genetics (123:387-398; May 2008) and further confirms priorstudies associating variations in the Interleukin 1B (IL1B) gene with theinflammatory response.
Sir Gordon W. Duff, M.D., Ph.D., one of the pioneers in the genetics ofinflammatory diseases, was the senior author of the paper. Dr. Duff, formerDirector of the Division of Genomic Medicine, University of Sheffield, UK,commented, "It is now well recognized that inflammation is an underlyingfactor in many diseases including cardiovascular disease. Interleukin-1beta(IL-1beta) is a major regulator of inflammation. This paper from acollaborative team of international researchers, demonstrates that people withspecific variation patterns in the IL1B gene had higher levels of IL-1beta andC-reactive protein (CRP). Studies from our group and others have found thatthese same IL1B gene variations were associated with an increased risk forcardiovascular disease and an increased risk for myocardial infarction at ayounger age, that is, an early first heart attack."
The IL1B gene is among the first gene activated when the body encounters achallenge of almost any type, ranging from bacterial infections to badcholesterol. IL-1beta initiates a complex cascade of related immuneresponses. Interleukin Genetics' approach, started over fifteen years ago, isto study variations in regulatory, or on/off switch, regions for these firstmover genes and then link them to biological events and risk of inflammatorydisease.
Dr. Kenneth Kornman, Chief Scientific Officer at Interleukin Genetics andan author on the paper explained the practical utility of the IL1B geneticinformation. "We use a simple cheek swab to collect an individual's DNA. Ourtechnologists perform the genetic analysis in our CLIA certified laboratory.A report is generated about an individual's risk for excess inflammation andcardiovascular disease. The privacy-ensured report is sent directly to theindividual, who then has access to physicians and genetic counselors todiscuss results."
These peer-reviewed results build on prior studies which showed that threegene variations inherited together from a parent, called a haplotype,functioned together to control regulation of the gene producing IL-1beta. Inthis study, four specific IL1B haplotype pairs, one from each parent,representing just over half of the study population, were associated withhigher tissue levels of IL-1beta levels, and two of those haplotype pairs werealso associated with increased blood CRP levels. CRP is an inflammatorychemical that is well-established as an independent marker of risk for heartdisease.
Interleukin Genetics' Heart Health Genetic Test is available to consumersin the U.S. and Canada under the Gensona(R) brand and marketed by Alticor Inc.The Gensona(R) Heart Health Genetic Test employs a number of single nucleotidepolymorphisms (genetic sequence variations called SNPs) to identify specificgenetic patterns in the Interleukin 1 genes. These genetic patterns are knownto correlate with exaggerated inflammatory responses and increased risk ofearly cardiovascular disease. The Gensona(R) Heart Health Genetic Test isavailable in the Personalized Health Products category at Quixtar by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Quixtar also can be reached at800-361-2213.
About Cardiovascular Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 700,000people die annually of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular diseaseinvolves the heart and vessels and i