Korea NIH to Use Affymetrix Technology for Groundbreaking Genome-Wide Association Study
KARE Project to Analyze More Than 10,000 Samples to Identify the Genetic Causes of Diseases That Are Prevalent in Korea
SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Affymetrix Inc. (Nasdaq:AFFX) announced today that the Republic of Korea’s National Institute of Health (NIH) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention will use the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 5.0 for the Korean Association REsource (KARE) project. This groundbreaking genome-wide association study is designed to identify the genetic causes of lifestyle-related complex diseases that are prevalent in Korea.
“We feel these studies can improve the quality of life by helping us develop cost-effective therapeutics and personalized preventative measures.”
The KARE project is expected to be one of the world’s most recognizable clinical research projects. Researchers will use the Affymetrix microarray technology to generate individual genotypes from more than 10,000 human DNA samples. The technology enables researchers to perform more powerful whole-genome association studies, increasing the probability of discovering genes associated with adverse drug response or complex disorders. The resulting information will be made available as part of a database to help inspire additional research projects.
“Using the new Affymetrix SNP Array 5.0, we will be able to perform a true, unbiased genome-wide association study. This project will enable us to uncover the genes associated with diseases such as metabolic syndrome that affect many individuals in Korea,” said Bermseok Oh, Ph.D., chief, Division of Structural and Functional Genomics at KNIH. “We feel these studies can improve the quality of life by helping us develop cost-effective therapeutics and personalized preventative measures.”
The KARE project will use samples from the prospective epidemiological Ansan and Ansung cohorts in Korea. It is comparable to the SHARE (SNP Health Association REsource) project, which is also using Affymetrix technology to identify genetic variants associated with heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders. The SHARE project is currently analyzing more than 9,000 samples collected by the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Boston University for the Framingham Heart Study. For more information about the SHARE project, please visit: http://www.affymetrix.com/userForum/news/collaborations/share.uf.
The Affymetrix microarrays will be run in the high-throughput lab of DNA Link Inc., an Affymetrix-certified service provider in Korea. DNA Link is an emerging leader in medical genetics research that is focused on establishing strong alliances with major hospitals to perform research into the genetic bases of common diseases. The company is also forming strategic business collaborations for the commercialization of its products and services.
“We are extremely excited that the Korea NIH has selected the Affymetrix system for its KARE project. The technology will provide them with a more unbiased and comprehensive view of genetic information relating to the Korean population,” said Jong-Eun Lee, Ph.D., CEO, DNA Link. “Researchers will be able to compare the KARE results with those of the SHARE project. These results should give researchers more insights into the genetic and environmental factors contributing to many of the chronic diseases affecting the Korean population.”
The SNP Array 5.0 is a single microarray featuring more than 500,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 420,000 additional non-polymorphic probes that can measure other genetic differences, such as copy number variation. Researchers are currently using the array to better identify and understand complex diseases such as autism, autoimmunity, bipolar disease, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
“Large-scale whole-genome association studies continue to accelerate genetic discoveries in labs around the world,” said Robert Wells, vice president of corporate affairs and international markets at Affymetrix. “This study by the Korea NIH is another example of how the Genome-Wide Human SNP Arrays are quickly becoming the standard in large-scale genotyping and enabling researchers to understand the underlying causes of complex diseases, such as metabolic syndrome.”
SeouLin Bioscience will supply the Affymetrix microarray technology and will provide technical support to the Korea NIH. Since its founding in 1984, SeouLin Bioscience has been providing world-renowned research products in Korea with its strong marketing and sales teams of product specialists. The company was listed on KOSDAQ in 2005. SeouLin Bioscience has a unique culture and system that helps both its employees and customers succeed.
“The KARE project, which will be carried out with cohort samples of more than 10,000 Korean people, will be a significant contribution not only to the research in Korea but around the world,” said Eul-Moon Hwang, CEO, SeouLin Bioscience. “We are honored to participate in this project by providing technical support and guidance. We expect this project to accelerate research that will provide us with a better understanding of human life.”
The SNP Array 5.0 is one of Affymetrix’ popular genotyping products, which are all based on the proven Whole-Genome Sampling Assay. The genotyping technology is being used by more than 200 laboratories and has generated data for more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific publications. For more information on the latest Affymetrix genotyping technology, please visit: http://www.affymetrix.com/products/application/ genome_wide_snp_6_ad.affx. (Due to its length, this URL may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)
Affymetrix GeneChip® microarray technology is the industry-standard tool for analyzing complex genetic information. After inventing microarray technology in the late 1980s, Affymetrix scientists have been dedicated to developing innovative products that provide researchers with a more complete view of the genome. These products continue to accelerate genetic research and enable scientists to develop diagnostics and tailor treatments for individual patients by identifying and measuring the genetic information associated with complex diseases.
Today, Affymetrix technology is used by the world’s top pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biotechnology companies, as well as leading academic, government and not-for-profit research institutes. More than 1,500 systems have been shipped around the world and more than 8,500 peer-reviewed papers have been published using the technology.
Affymetrix is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., and has manufacturing facilities in Sacramento, Calif., and Singapore. The company has about 1,100 employees worldwide and maintains sales and distribution operations across Europe and Asia. For more information about Affymetrix, please visit the company’s website at www.affymetrix.com.
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