Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Identification Of New Asthma Genes Demonstrates A Model For Improved Patient Care


An international team of researchers from the University of Helsinki, GeneOS Ltd. and partner institutions announced today that it has made significant discoveries on the causes of asthma. The team’s study, published in the April 9, 2004 edition of Science, reports two novel asthma genes and a set of diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

The implications of the finding are that physicians may be able to identify atopic asthma and allergy patients earlier than is currently possible. Even more importantly, the gene that was found to be the risk gene for asthma is well suited for a drug target molecule.
Previous genome-wide scans in multiple populations have suggested that there is a susceptibility region for asthma on chromosome 7p. This study focused its efforts to confirm the hypothesis and to identify the genes in the Finnish families. The results were then replicated among the Canadian families to be sure that the findings are valid also in other populations. A hierarchical genotyping design was used and lead to the identification of a 133kb risk-conferring segment that contained two genes. The data imply that an orphan G-protein receptor named GPRA is involved in the pathogenesis of atopy and asthma and may have application in other inflammatory diseases.

“The importance of this discovery is that our findings validate our approach of being able to build relevant patient databases and use this information to understand disease outcome”, said Tarja Laitinen, Chief Scientific Officer, GeneOS. “Additionally, these findings are very relevant for our company because they show how we can use information generated in Finland and apply it to other populations. GeneOS is building its capabilities to study disease outcomes in Finland to help pharmaceutical and medical device companies design and run clinical trials and better understand patient response. Findings like the GPRA gene will lead to better diagnosis and treatment.”

“This research is a culmination of ten-year project to identify genes for complex diseases”, said Professor Juha Kere from Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) and University of Helsinki. “Other, similar findings may become reality from comparable efforts, building on the excellent Finnish and Scandinavian medical and population data.”

The number of asthmatics has been growing at about 10 % per year; currently asthma affects approximately 6-10 % of the population in the United States and Western Europe. Asthma accounts for approximately 10 % of all prescription drug spending in the United States and Western Europe. Treatment plans are complex and the ability to measure improved outcome is poor. The ability to study outcomes in Finland and then confirm the findings in other populations will help improve treatment for patients worldwide.

For further information please contact:
Juha Kere, Professor, Helsinki University and Karolinska Institutet, +46 7 3421 3550, (about discovery)

Tarja Laitinen, Chief Scientific Officer, GeneOS Ltd., + 358 50 534 6238, (about discovery and GeneOS)

Steve Lehrer, CEO, GeneOS Inc. +1 650 269 3420, (about GeneOs)

Paivi Lehtinen | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

nachricht 'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>