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Parkinson's Foundation, Fulgent Genetics Partner on Genetic Testing Initiative

NEW YORK – The Parkinson's Foundation and Fulgent Genetics announced today that they have begun a collaboration on a new genetic testing initiative for Parkinson's disease patients. The group said that the initiative, called PD GENEration: Mapping the Future of Parkinson's disease, will offer genetic testing and genetic counseling for individuals with potentially clinically relevant Parkinson's-related genes.

As part of the collaboration, Fulgent said it will apply a customized version of its Parkinson's disease next-generation sequencing panel to target seven genes linked to Parkinson's disease, including GBA, LRRK2, SNCA, PRKN, PARK7, and PINK1. The firm will analyze the genes and generate targeted clinical reports, which will be available to the treating physicians and future researchers.

Fulgent said it will be compensated by the Parkinson's Foundation for processing, sequencing, and storing each DNA sample for patients participating in the initiative, but did not disclose additional financial details.

The group aims to enroll 600 Parkinson's disease patients within the first year, with plans to include 15,000 individuals by 2024.

"Our comprehensive testing and data analytics capabilities will enable clinicians to make more informed treatment decisions for Parkinson's patients, which we believe will have a positive impact on patient care," Fulgent CEO and Chairman Ming Hsieh said in a statement. "We also look forward to leveraging our data and technology capabilities to aid in the development of improved treatments for Parkinson's patients in the future."

In addition, the Indiana University School of Medicine, the University of Florida CTSI Data Coordinating Center, and the University of Rochester's Clinical Trials Coordination Center will be assisting the initiative through genetic counseling and secure data storage.

"What makes PD Generation unique is its novel approach of offering genetic testing for relevant Parkinson's-related genes in an easily accessible, clinical environment through the Parkinson's Foundation network," Parkinson's Foundation CSO James Beck in a statement. "We expect that this will accelerate enrolment in clinical trials for the next generation of treatment and help facilitate the use of genetic information to improve care and expand research."

For a more in-depth look at the PD GENEration initiative, click here.