Northshore University HealthSystem to develop direct-to-consumer genetic risk tests for prostate cancer

Evanston, Ill.-based Northshore University HealthSystem has entered into a development partnership with direct-to-consumer genomics company Helix, the organizations announced at the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics meeting in Charlotte, N.C., April 10.

Under the partnership with Helix, Peter Hulick, MD, director of the Center for Personalized Medicine at Northshore, will lead the development of products that use genetic tests to stratify a patient's risk for chronic conditions, beginning with prostate cancer. 

The initial genetic risk-score test for prostate cancer is based on research led by Dr. Jianfeng Xu, vice president of translational research at Northshore. Using Helix's next-generation sequencing platform, Dr. Hulick's research team will explore additional genetic markers to add to the risk-score test.

Northshore will offer the genetic risk-score test on Helix's online marketplace, which the company launched in July 2017.

Helix says the marketplace is the first online marketplace to offer customers personalized products based on genetic testing. The marketplace comprises 35 DNA-based products related to ancestry, fitness and nutrition. The initial selection included National Geographic's ancestry product, called Geno 2.0 Next Generation, and Vinome's personalized wine preferences profile, called Wine Explorer.

The goal of the marketplace is to "make genomics accessible and actionable for every person," Helix CEO Robin Thurston said in a July 2017 statement.

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