Portal provides diabetes genetic data

October 28, 2015

A new online library or knowledge portal, the Type 2 Diabetes Genetics Beta, has been launched to provide open-access searching of genetic and clinical information on type 2 diabetes.

A new online library or knowledge portal, the Type 2 Diabetes Genetics Beta, has been launched to provide open-access searching of genetic and clinical information on type 2 diabetes.

Related:FDA approves long-acting insulin drugs  

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH) recently launched the portal, which includes data from more than 100,000 genetic samples obtained from clinical consortia. A product of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) for type 2 diabetes, the portal is aimed at advancing type 2 diabetes research and treatment.

“Through AMP, we have an unprecedented opportunity to advance international research in type 2 diabetes,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. “Our hope is that this portal – and this partnership – will lead to better disease targets and a shorter, less expensive drug development process, enabling companies to get safe and effective medications to patients who need them faster.”

The portal collects data from human genetic samples, since the animal and cellular models that are typically used in diabetes drug development before human testing do not always replicate human behavior.

“The knowledge portal will allow us to translate differences in an individual’s genome into an understanding of how those differences affect a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. By harnessing the power of international data sets, we can also better account for differences in race, ethnicity and locality,” said Philip Smith, PhD, of the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Related: Hispanics more likely to struggle with diabetes misinformation

The knowledge portal makes genetic and clinical information searchable in myriad of ways, while keeping individual data confidential, to help researchers identify and describe the effects of genes on disease. Searches can include genes, gene variants and genetic regions, and can be cross-referenced with associations between glucose and insulin measurements and other criteria.

In addition, the data can be sorted to include relevant genetic studies and the kind of data collected, and allows researchers to test biological hypotheses, and conduct many other analyses.

Creators of the research engine are eager to expand the network to include more national and international research networks. The international source samples of genetic and clinical data will be housed in their home networks to ensure use of each sample complies with each country’s health information confidentiality rules.

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