DNAPrint Launches ANCESTRYbyDNA 2.0 - World's First Recreational Genomics Testing Service.
SARASOTA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 19, 2002
DNAPrint genomics, Inc. (OTCBB:DNAP) today announced that it has launched what it believes to be the world's first recreational genomics testing service. The service is the first to provide the everyday consumer the opportunity for introspection from his or her own genome sequence, and as such, it is expected to become a trailblazer in the newly forming consumer genomics marketplace.
ANCESTRYbyDNA 2.0 will scan the genome for customers in order to determine their BioGeographical Ancestry (BGA) or ancestral proportions. The test is powered by DNAPrint's ANCESTRY panel of proprietary Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), and reveals the proportional extent to which a customer is of European, Native American, African, East Asian, South/Middle Asian and/or Pacific Islander genetic heritage. Making such determinations by eye is unreliable, and from family records tedious and inexact, but recent human genome research by DNAPrint's scientists and Dr. Mark Shriver of The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) have shown that biological ancestry proportions are clearly written in the DNA and extractable with certain mathematical algorithms. Some of the underlying science supporting the test has been published over the last three years by both labs (Parra et al.1; Pfaff et al. 2; Parra et al., 3 and Frudakis et al. 4).
Until today, two types of genetic tests have been available for the study of human heredity. Both the Y-chromosome and mitochondrial tests are simple tests best suited for revealing that relation exists between two specific individuals, such as daughter and grandmother. In contrast, ANCESTRYbyDNA 2.0 is a significantly more complex test that queries hundreds of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) spread throughout the human genome. Using proprietary algorithms and database resources, this sequence information is summarized for each customer by plotting their heredity along "A Multi-Dimensional Continuum of Ancestry"(TM), thereby allowing for a calculation of ancestral proportions (such as 90% European, 10% African or some other ratio, as the case may be). In a recently filmed BBC interview, Dr. Shriver relates that he is ostensibly of European ancestry, yet he was surprised to learn from the test that his ancestral proportions are in fact 63% European, 27% African and 10% Native American. Pilot studies on populations have shown that the test produces results that are in general agreement with what is known from the anthropological history of the world's various peoples. For example, Africans and Europeans test as of relatively pure ancestry, but the African-American individuals tested are from 70-97% African and 3-30% European ancestry (some with substantial Native American ancestry) and the different Hispanic populations range from of 50-70% European, 30-40% Native American and 0-20% African ancestry, depending on the geographical region. Until the development of the ANCESTRY test earlier this year, the estimation of ancestral proportions from DNA had not been possible.
In addition to serving individuals curious about their ancestry, the testing service has practical implications for certain types of customers. In early August, a customer used an earlier version of the service to help focus a bone marrow donor search for a leukemic child. The child harbored an unusual HLA profile, which made it difficult to match her with a bone marrow donor. In this case, the family was apparently of European heritage, but the unusual HLA profile suggested the family was of mixed heritage. The test confirmed this to be the case, and the knowledge gained is expected to allow the family members to focus their search towards the appropriate admixed group. Another early customer in Utah used the test to demonstrate that he was of Native American heritage in an effort to validate his entitlement to participate in business ventures reserved for Native Americans. Other early customers have included university researchers who desired to qualify ancestral proportions for study samples, and the test would be appropriate for the adopted or for genealogists who desire to learn about ambiguous regions of their family tree.
DNAPrint scientists are collaborating with Dr. Shriver to develop more advanced versions of ANCESTRYbyDNA that may be useful for discerning regional heritage proportions in individuals. For example, ANCESTRYbyDNA 3.0 is expected to be capable in the near future of determining whether an individual is of Irish/British, Middle European (French, German), Scandinavian, Mediterranean (Italian, Greek, Spanish) or Eastern European heritage as well as of Western/Central versus East African heritage or of Japanese, Chinese or Korean heritage. For more information about the ANCESTRYbyDNA 2.0 service please visit http://www.ancestrybydna.com.
About DNAPrint genomics, Inc.:
DNAPrint genomics, Inc. was founded by a team of scientists with research and commercial experience in high-level mathematical and statistical modeling, programming and molecular genetics. Our quest is to become the leader in the development of complex pharmacogenomics and forensics classifiers for a personalization of drug prescription and enhancement of our criminal justice system. DNAPrint is the only company in the world building an eigengenotype database for routine complex/quantitative genetics analysis from population level genomics data. 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.
Articles Referred to in this Press Release:
1 - Parra, E., Marcini, A., Akey, J., Martinson, J., Batzer, M., Cooper, R., Forrester, T., Allison, D., Deka, R., Ferrell, R. and M. Shriver. 1998. Estimating African American Admixture Proportions by Use of Population Specific Alleles. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 63:1839-1851.
2- Pfaff, C., Parra, E., Bonilla, C., Hiester, K., McKeigue, P., Kamboh, M., Hutchinson, R., Ferrell, R., Boerwinkle, E., and M. Shriver. 2001. Population Structure in Admixed Populations: Effect of Admixture Dynamics on the Pattern of Linkage Disequilibrium. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 68:198-207.
3- Parra, E., Kittles, R., Argyropoulos, G., Pfaff, C., Hiester, K., Bonilla, C., Sylvester, N., Parrish-Gause, C., Garvey, W., Jin, L., McKeigue, P., Kamboh, M., Ferrell, R., Pollitzer, W., and M. Shriver. 2001. Ancestral Proportions and Admixture Dynamics in Geographically Defined African Americans Living in South Carolina. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 114:18-29.
4- Frudakis, T., V Kondragunta, M Thomas, Z Gaskin, S Ginjupalli, S Gunturi, V Ponnuswamy, S Natarajan, and P Nachimuthu. 2002. A Classifier for SNP-Based Racial Inference. In Review, Journal of Forensics Sciences.
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.