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8-Humans: US company announces DNA test to predict children's eye color



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TITLE:  DNAPrint genomics 'solves' human eye color and announces the
        development of first commercial product
SOURCE: DNAPrint genomics, Inc., USA, Press Release
        http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/011029/nem055_1.html
DATE:   October 29, 2001

------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------


DNAPrint Genomics 'Solves' Human Eye Color and Announces the Development of 
First Commercial Product.

SARASOTA, Fla., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- DNAPrint genomics, Inc. (OTC 
Bulletin Board: DNAP - news) announced today that its scientists have 
discovered the world's first genomics "solution" for predicting the shade 
of eye color from human DNA. The discovery, which was presented to an 
audience of genomics experts at the TIGR's Genome Sequence and Analysis 
Conference (GSAC) on October 27, 2001, constitutes the company's first 
genomics-based classification product, and represents a major breakthrough 
in the application of human genome technology and information resources for 
the dissection of complex human genetic traits. The new product 
(RETINOME(SM) is capable of using a DNA specimen to predict the degree to 
which an individual's retinas are pigmented with over 96% accuracy. Until 
now, forensic DNA testing has only been able to produce "bar- code like" 
data from DNA, which is limited in utility for matching a DNA specimen with 
another previously derived from the same donor. If not matched to another 
previously obtained result, current tests are of limited use because they 
reveal no qualitative information about the donor (such as eye color, hair 
color, skin shade, weight or height). DNAPrint believes its new 
RETINOME(SM) product is the first comprehensive genetic test capable of 
revealing qualitative trait information from human DNA. As a new forensics 
tool, RETINOME(SM) could help law enforcement target investigations and 
provide probable cause for requesting a standard DNA test from criminal 
suspects. As a research tool, RETINOME(SM) could accelerate drug 
development for pigmentation related diseases such as cataracts and 
melanoma.

DNAPrint has filed a U.S. patent application (US patent pending serial NO. 
60/300,187) covering the composition of matter and methods related to the 
RETINOME(SM) discovery. The company has also submitted a manuscript 
describing the "solution" to a major scientific journal. The solution 
incorporates compound genotypes from five haplotype systems in four 
different genes. The four genes were previously known from genetics of 
human diseases (such as oculocutaneous albinism) to be involved in the 
synthesis of the main pigment (eumelanin) responsible for the coloration of 
human tissues. However, two of the four genes were not previously known to 
be specifically involved in retinal pigmentation. DNAPrint scientists first 
discovered numerous SNPs in a number of candidate genes using proprietary 
discovery protocols and software. Haplotypes incorporating a subset of 
these SNPs, in a subset of these genes, were then assembled and linked to 
various eye color shades with a high degree of statistical certainty 
(average p[haplotype system at the population level]= 0.007). The company 
then applied proprietary and third-party computational methods to assemble 
these haplotypes into a classification "solution" of compound genotypes 
that explained most of the variation in natural eye color shade in the 
project study group (n=276). Previous attempts to "solve" variable eye 
color by others had been hampered by the inter- and intra-genic complexity 
of the trait. DNAPrint was able to overcome these challenges using its 
innovative complex genetics informatics platform with a variety of 
algorithmic methods for identifying genetic features, detecting genetic 
pattern and constructing classification trees.

"Had we performed this work like others, on simple genetics terms, we would 
never have found the answer," said Dr. Tony Frudakis, Ph.D., CEO and CSO of 
DNAPrint genomics, Inc. "It is because of our blend of computational, 
genetics and mathematical expertise that we are able to tease the complex 
genetics of eye color from the data, and it is because of this expertise 
that RETINOME(SM) is possible."

The SNPs that the company used to construct the solution represent a small 
component of the company's developing PHENOME(SM) database of proprietary 
SNPs, which covers most of the genes involved in variable drug reactivity. 
"The RETINOME(SM) solution reflects positively on the company's informatics 
capabilities, the quality of its data production and its ability to manage 
complex genomics datasets. "Our timely success with the RETINOME(SM) 
project validates our data resources and analytical prowess as a real and 
present force for pharmacogenomics research and product development," said 
Venkateswarlu Kondragunta, Vice-President of DNAPrint genomics, Inc.

RETINOME(SM) complements (rather than replaces) current DNA testing in the 
multi-million dollar forensics DNA testing market. The market for pigment 
related disease treatments could exceed $100 Million annually. The company 
will now proceed to identify a licensee for the RETINOME(SM) technology in 
order to effect its rapid commercialization. RETINOME(SM) is the company's 
first genomics-based classification product, and it joins only a handful of 
complex genetics predictive tools. After its licensing and validation by a 
commercialization partner, RETINOME(SM) is expected to provide DNAPrint's 
first substantial source of product-derived revenue.

About DNAPrint genomics, Inc.:

DNAPrint genomics Inc. was founded by a team of scientists with research 
and commercial experience in high-level mathematical modeling, programming 
and molecular genetics. The Company is traded on the NASDAQ OTC Bulletin 
Board under the ticker symbol -- DNAP. For more information about the 
company, please visit http://www.dnaprint.com/.

All statements in this press release that are not historical are forward- 
looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities 
Exchange Act as amended. Such statements are subject to risks and 
uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from 
those projected, including, but not limited to, uncertainties relating to 
technologies, product development, manufacturing, market acceptance, cost 
and pricing of DNAPrint's products, dependence on collaborations and 
partners, regulatory approvals, competition, intellectual property of 
others, and patent protection and litigation. DNAPrint genomics, Inc. 
expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any 
updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to 
reflect any change in DNAPrint's expectations with regard thereto or any 
change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statements 
are based.

Inquiries please contact: Tim Wilkins, 941/341-0136 Or Carrie Castillo, 941/
366-3400



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