deCODE to Integrate New Genetic Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes Into Its deCODEme(TM) Personal Genome Scan Service

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 General News
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REYKJAVIK, Iceland, Dec. 8 deCODE genetics(Nasdaq: DCGN) today announced the discovery by an international consortium ofscientists from deCODE and major European and US academic institutions of asingle letter variation in the human genome (SNP) that is associated withincreased fasting glucose levels and risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). deCODEwill employ its CLIA-registered genotyping laboratory and existing testingplatform to swiftly integrate the finding into its deCODEme(TM) personalgenome scan, and to assess the addition of this new variant to the company'sdeCODE T2(TM) reference laboratory test for assessing individual risk of type2 diabetes.

The multinational study analyzed a number of SNPs that had beensuggestively linked with fasting glucose levels in several major studiesinvolving some 36,000 individuals from Europe and the United States. Theanalysis identified a version of single SNP within the gene encoding melatoninreceptor IB (MTNR1B) that was associated with notable increase in fastingglucose levels. The deCODE team then demonstrated in its Icelandic cohort thatthis SNP also associated with an increased risk of T2D, a finding that wasthen replicated in a meta-analysis of data from more than 80,000 cases andcontrols from Europe and the US. Approximately 10% of the participants in thisstudy carry two copies of the at-risk version of this SNP, putting them atmore than 15 percent greater risk of type 2 diabetes than individuals whocarry no copies. The paper, entitled "Variants in MTNR1B influence fastingglucose levels," is published today in the online edition of Nature Genetics,and will appear in an upcoming print edition of the journal.

"This finding is another step towards rounding out our understanding ofthe genetic factors that underpin glucose regulation and risk of type 2diabetes. This variant does not confer sufficient risk to be of clinicalutility on its own. But when measured in addition to our TCF7L2 variant thatis the anchor of the deCODE T2(TM) test, it may, like other common variantsconferring modest risk, enable the test to capture an even larger proportionof inherited risk. We are currently evaluating its integration into deCODET2(TM), because understanding genetic risk of T2D enables individuals andtheir physicians to focus, personalize and improve prevention. In themeantime, we will be enabling our deCODEme subscribers to check their profilesfor this new variant, keeping them at the cutting edge of human genetics,"said Kari Stefansson, CEO of deCODE.

Type 2 diabetes: A major public health problem

T2D is a chronic condition that develops when the body either becomesresistant to or doesn't secrete enough insulin. Diabetes affects nearly 200million people worldwide and, according to the American Diabetes Association,some 21 million in the United States. The vast majority of these have T2D, andas many as one third of Americans with diabetes may not even be aware thatthey have the disease. More than 50 million Americans have pre-diabetes, acondition characterized by elevated blood glucose levels and which puts theseindividuals at high risk for developing T2D. T2D can be managed and - mostimportantly - prevented. If losing weight, eating better and getting adequateexercise aren't enough, there are also medications that can help to manageblood sugar levels and insulin response to reduce the likelihood of developingdiabetes. For more information on T2D and how to prevent it, you can go to theAmerican Diabetes Association's website at

About deCODE

deCODE is a bio-pharmaceutical company developing drugs and DNA-basedtests to improve the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of common diseases.Its lead therapeutic programs, which leverage the company's expertise inchemistry and structural biology, include DG041, an antiplatelet compoundbeing developed for the prevention of arterial thrombosis; DG051 and DG031,compounds targeting the leukotriene pathway for the prevention of heartattack; and DG071 and a platform for other PDE4 modulators with therapeuticapplications in Alzheimer's disease and other conditions. deCODE is a globalleader in human genetics, and has identified key variations in the genome(SNPs) conferring increased risk of major public health challenges fromcardiovascular disease to cancer. Based upon these discoveries deCODE hasbrought to market a growing range of DNA-based tests for gauging risk andempowering prevention of common diseases. Through its CLIA-registeredlaboratory, deCODE offers deCODE T2(TM) for type 2 diabetes; deCODE AF(TM) foratrial fibrillation and stroke; deCODE MI(TM) for heart attack; deCODEProstateCancer(TM) for prostate cancer; deCODE Glaucoma(TM) for a major typeof glaucoma; and deCODE BreastCancer(TM), for the common forms of breastcancer. deCODE is delivering on the promise of the new genetics(SM). Visit uson the web at; on our diagnostics site at; for our pioneering personal genome analysisservice, integrating the genetic variants included in these tests and thoselinked to another twenty common diseases, at; and onour blog at

Any statements contained in this presentation that relate to future plans,events or performance are forward-looking statements within the meaning of thePrivate Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-lookingstatements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could causeactual results, and the timing of events, to differ materially from thosedescribed in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertaintiesinclude, among others, those relating to our ability to obtain financing andto form collaborative relationships, the effect of a potential delisting ofour common stock from The Nasdaq Global Market, uncertainty regardingpotential future deterioration in the market for auction rate securities whichcould negatively affect our cash position and result in additional permanentimpairment charges, our ability to develop and market diagnostic products, thelevel of third party reimbursement for our products, risks related topreclinical and clinical development of pharmaceutical products, including theidentification of compounds and the completion of clinical trials, the effectof government regulation and the regulatory approval processes, marketacceptance, our ability to obtain and protect intellectual property rights forour products, dependence on collaborative relationships, the effect ofcompetitive products, industry trends and other risks identified in deCODE'sfilings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, withoutlimitation, the risk factors identified in our most recent Annual Report onForm 10-K and any updates to those risk factors filed from time to time in ourQuarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or Current Reports on Form 8-K. deCODEundertakes no obligation to update or alter these forward-looking statementsas a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE deCODE genetics

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