More MS news articles for July 2001

DNA Sciences Registers 10,000 Gene Trust Participants in Less Than One Year; Recruitment Proves Successful for Genetic Research Project

July 19, 2001 10:14am
Source: PR Newswire

FREMONT, Calif., Jul 19, 2001 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- DNA Sciences, Inc. (WWW.DNA.COM), today announced that more than 10,000 individuals have registered for the DNA Sciences Gene Trust Project(SM), a large-scale consumer-focused, Internet-based research initiative designed to discover the links between genetics and common diseases.

The DNA Sciences Gene Trust Project will help DNA Sciences researchers identify the genetic basis of common diseases, a crucial step toward developing new diagnostics and treatments. DNA Sciences' current research focus includes cardiac arrhythmias, breast cancer, colon cancer, Type 2 diabetes, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis. Thousands of individuals with these and other conditions have already provided the company with a blood sample for use in ongoing genetic research efforts. Analysis of DNA samples from Gene Trust volunteers with psoriasis and multiple sclerosis is currently underway.

"This milestone reflects America's widespread interest in being part of the genetics revolution and demonstrates that the Internet can be a key component in recruitment of genetic study participants," said Hugh Y. Rienhoff Jr., M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DNA Sciences, Inc. "Many of the Gene Trust participants have written to express excitement about helping us find the links between genetics and common diseases. We are encouraged to move our research forward with their support and enthusiasm for the project."

Individuals can register for the Gene Trust by completing a brief health questionnaire on the company's website at WWW.DNA.COM. If the person's health history matches a current DNA Sciences research project, they may be asked to volunteer a small blood sample. A qualified health professional collects the blood sample at the participant's convenience anywhere in the United States. The individual's personally identifying information is then separated from the blood sample, which becomes part of DNA Sciences ongoing research activities. In addition, the Western Institutional Review Board, an independent Institutional Review Board, oversees the Gene Trust Project research protocol.

Protecting Privacy

DNA Sciences, Inc. is committed to protecting the privacy of all participants in genetic research and The DNA Sciences Gene Trust Project. In order to safeguard personal information, DNA Sciences has developed and adopted several practices and policies that are designed to protect any and all personal health and family information. Information derived from the Gene Trust will only be shared in aggregate; personally identifying genetic and/or health information will never, under any circumstances, be sold to anyone outside DNA Sciences.

DNA Sciences Genetic Model

DNA Sciences research is based on the idea that the genetic variants involved in common diseases are of low-to-moderate penetrance, i.e., only some carriers will develop the disease. Many of these moderately-penetrant gene variants may be difficult to detect using classical methods of discovery. Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Ray White and his team at DNA Sciences have developed new methods specifically designed to identify these types of gene variants. These gene variants will help patients and their physicians manage health more effectively through disease risk-reduction, earlier diagnosis and more specific therapies. DNA Sciences recruits samples for its research through academic and corporate collaborations, as well as the Gene Trust Project.

About DNA Sciences

DNA Sciences, Inc. is an integrated genetics discovery company focused on identifying the genetic basis of common disease susceptibility, disease progress and treatment response. The company has a staff of world-class scientists involved in a broad range of genetics activities extending from discovery and development to genetic testing services. DNA Sciences is also the leading provider of pharmacogenetic services to the pharmaceutical industry through its wholly-owned subsidiary, DNA Sciences Laboratories (formerly PPGx, Inc.). DNA Sciences is based in Fremont, Calif., and was founded in May 1998.

For more information about the DNA Sciences Gene Trust Project, please call 866-GENETRUST or visit the DNA Sciences website at WWW.DNA.COM.

Statements included in this press release that are not historical in nature are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include those regarding the potential applicability of the research efforts of DNA Sciences and its business strategies and research and development efforts. We caution readers that forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. The information in this press release is current as of its release date and DNA Sciences takes no responsibility to update the information.


The following individuals have joined the DNA Sciences Gene Trust Project(SM) and are available to speak with the media about their participation in this innovative genetic research effort. To schedule an interview, please contact Ami Knoefler at +1-510-494-4052 or Joni Ramirez at +1-310-479-9929.

-- Joan Armer, Grass Valley, Calif. -- Joan lives with asthma, glaucoma and migraines, which she fears will be passed onto her children. She felt compelled to join the Gene Trust because, "I just didn't see any reason not to do it."

-- Bill Bartel, Millbrae, Calif. -- Bill believes that his hearing impairment is genetically linked. He was compelled to join the Gene Trust because "it will be like leaving footprints in the sand."

-- Peggy Cox, Washington, D.C. -- Peggy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1972. She felt that joining the Gene Trust was a great way to advance the research that may lead to earlier detection and more effective therapies.

-- Mary Cozad, Ph.D., Dekab, Ill. - A battle with breast cancer fueled Mary's participation. She wants to personally contribute to finding a genetic link to cancer and adds, "What's a little blood?"

-- Robert Dabler, Frankfort, Ill. -- Bob believes that genetic research will help cure his multiple sclerosis and other diseases.

-- Susan Joy Friday, Pacific Palisades, Calif. -- Susan has struggled with diabetes all her adult life and suspects a genetic component because three other family members have the disease. Susan emphasizes, "It is important to pinpoint the genetic link so others can be spared this pain in the future."

-- Glendon McAllister, San Jose, Calif. -- Glendon lives with coronary artery disease for which he has undergone 22 angiograms. He believes that genetic research will lead to better diagnostics and treatments of diseases for future generations. He wants to "save younger people from trauma."

-- Bernadette Pastika, Tampa, Fla. -- Bernadette was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1996. She is passionate about the fight against MS and says, "I'm concerned for my own kids and my grandchildren ... I just feel we need some resolution on what causes MS. If there's a genetic connection to MS, we need to find out."

-- Steve Spencer, Richmond, Calif. -- Steve has a family history of coronary artery disease and has undergone numerous surgeries. He is very hopeful that the Gene Trust will help future generations and states, "I think the Gene Trust project is well worth the extremely small amount of time and 2-3 tablespoons of blood required of you ... This is an opportunity for my generation to make a significant contribution to helping develop better and more effective treatments for disease."

-- Ethel Rittenhouse-Voss, Tucson, Ariz. -- When Ethel recalls her experience with asthma and breast cancer, she feels anguish. She lived 20 years with chronic asthma and underwent her last session of chemotherapy in November 2000. She feels strongly about the work of The Gene Trust and wants to help prevent others from having similar health battles.

-- Lee Schnebly, Tucson, Ariz. -- Lee lives with colon cancer. Lee feels it is her duty to help in the fight against genetic diseases and adds, "Since young people are scared, we old people need to step up."

SOURCE DNA Sciences, Inc.

CONTACT:    Ami Knoefler of DNA Sciences, Inc., +1-510-494-4052, or mobile,
                  +1-415-305-5309, or

URL:              HTTP://WWW.DNA.COM

Copyright (C) 2001 PR Newswire