Huntsville, Ala. —HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology’s unique breast and ovarian cancer genetic risk testing initiative Information is Power has provided answers to more than one thousand women and men living in the Huntsville area. The initiative is a collaborative effort between HudsonAlpha and genetic testing company Kailos Genetics, a HudsonAlpha associate company.
The genetic test, called the Kailos test, screens for mutations in the well-known BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, as well as a set of genes known to be linked to breast and ovarian cancers. It is free for 30-year old women in Huntsville and Madison and $99 for all adults who reside in Madison, Jackson, Limestone, Marshall and Morgan Counties through October 28, 2016.
To date, more than 1,000 kits have been processed, of which 30 percent have been from 30-year old women. Overall, around four percent of the tests have been positive, which means there is a mutation in one of the genes linked to an increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
“Our initiative aims to conduct larger population-level testing to raise awareness of genetic and traditional screening methods,” said Kimberly Strong, PhD, HudsonAlpha faculty investigator and lead scientist for the initiative. “It provides another piece of the puzzle as to what might be going on, what someone’s risk might be and already the initiative has identified people who were unknowingly at increased risk.”
The year-long initiative kicked off in October 2015 at HudsonAlpha’s signature breast and ovarian cancer fundraising event Tie the Ribbons. This year’s Tie the Ribbons will be held September 22. At the event, Information is Power participants will share their first-hand experiences as it relates to genetic testing and the impact it has had on each of their lives.
“It is our goal to make genetic testing an option for all people who would like to access their gene-based information. This type of insight into genetic data can help people make smarter, more informed decisions for their health,” said Troy Moore, chief scientific officer of Kailos Genetics.
The Information is Power initiative also was featured at a national genetics conference. Kelly East, a genetic counselor at HudsonAlpha, spoke to a large group at the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) annual meeting about patient-initiated genetic testing and the design and execution of the breast and ovarian cancer testing initiative.
For more information on the initiative, visit http://hudsonalpha.org/
About HudsonAlpha: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to innovating in the field of genomic technology and sciences across a spectrum of biological challenges. Founded in 2008, its mission is four-fold: sparking scientific discoveries that can impact human health and well-being; bringing genomic medicine into clinical care; fostering life sciences entrepreneurship and business growth; and encouraging the creation of a genomics-literate workforce and society. The HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus consists of 152 acres nestled within Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park. Designed to be a hothouse of biotech economic development, HudsonAlpha’s state-of-the-art facilities co-locate nonprofit scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. The relationships formed on the HudsonAlpha campus encourage collaborations that produce advances in medicine and agriculture. Under the leadership of Dr. Richard M. Myers, a key collaborator on the Human Genome Project, HudsonAlpha has become a national and international leader in genetics and genomics research and biotech education, and includes 32 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit:http://hudsonalpha.org/.
About Kailos: Kailos Genetics is a trusted provider of personalized health information. Addressing unmet needs of healthcare consumers and their families is Kailos’ primary reason for being. With its proprietary and robust DNA sequencing enrichment and laboratory information system, TargetRichTM, Kailos helps make personalized medicine affordable and accessible for everyone through the Kailos test. Founded in 2010, and based in Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Kailos is committed to providing a simple, trusted and affordable way to help individuals understand what’s in their genes. To learn more, visitwww.kailosgenetics.com/