Switzerland's Roche has entered into an alliance with ParAllele BioScience to discover genes that contribute to type 2 diabetes, with a view to identifying potential new medicines and diagnostics for the disease.
This is the first commercial study that combines ParAllele's SNP discovery platforms with high-throughput genotyping.
Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will provide clinical samples for testing as well as funding to support the study. ParAllele will use its proprietary single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery and SNP genotyping platforms to discover the genetic variations present in patient samples from Roche collaborations and clinical trials, and determine which of these variations are most often associated with diabetes.
Roche will also evaluate associations found during the study in a variety of larger patient populations. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Lee Babiss, vice president of preclinical R&D at Roche, said: "Understanding how, as well as which, mutations are involved in diabetes, particularly in protein encoding gene region SNPs, coupled with our expertise in genomics, should enable us to identify patients in the study who are more susceptible to developing diabetes as well as the best drug candidates and diagnostics to pursue for development."
ParAllele's president, Nick Naclerio, said that the deal with Roche takes its SNPplatform to a new level. "In the near future, we will be able to provide the unique ability to scan every gene in every sample to detect the complete set of genetic variations that may be contributing to a disease."
To date, public and private sequencing efforts have only discovered a fraction of the most common variations found among healthy individuals due to the sheer volume of genetic information, the prohibitive costs associated with such large-scale research and the accuracy of commonly available technologies.
In an attempt to overcome these challenges, ParAllele has developed a suite of single tube assays for SNP discovery, genotyping and variation scanning, each capable of screening thousands of targets in one reaction.