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Whole genome study discovers 10 new gene candidate regions in Crohn’s disease


Montreal, QC & Mountain View, CA – June 22, 2004 – Biotech companies Galileo Genomics and Perlegen Sciences say they have completed a linkage disequilibrium-based genome-wide scan (LD-GWS) of Crohn’s disease in the Quebec founder population.

The study identified two previously reported disease genes, NOD2/CARD15 and OCTN, and more than 10 new regions strongly associated with Crohn’s disease, each containing one to four genes. The LD-GWS was performed on 1,500 individuals using more than 248,000 SNP markers distributed throughout the human genome, resulting in 372 million genetic analyses. This is one of the largest disease gene discovery surveys ever performed in a single common disease.

These discoveries in Crohn’s disease are the first data resulting from the collaboration between Galileo and Perlegen on 21 diseases, announced in January 2004. This collaboration applies a combination of Galileo’s proprietary gene discovery software and unique genetic approach with Perlegen’s world leading high-throughput SNP genotyping platform and database of over 1.5 million validated SNPs.

DNA samples for Galileo’s programs are collected in collaboration with over 800 Quebec clinical investigators. The Quebec founder population of French descent is believed to be among the world’s best for gene discovery in common diseases, based on its high levels of genetic homogeneity and extended LD (genetic sharing).

“This data supports Galileo’s belief that an LD-GWS in Quebec is the most powerful approach to gene discovery for common diseases. Over the next two years we expect to apply the LD-GWS approach to at least 20 additional diseases," says Dr John Hooper, president and CEO of Galileo Genomics.