23andMe, Michael J. Fox Foundation launch genetic database for Parkinson's research

At-home DNA testing giant 23andMe and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research have unveiled the Fox Insight Data Exploration Network (Fox DEN), a data access and analytics platform to aid in Parkinson's disease research.

Fox DEN compiles patient-reported information from surveys about symptoms, daily activities and other Parkinson's-related health factors with de-identified 23andMe genetic data from the more than 35,000 people who have joined the Fox Insight clinical study so far.

The database is available to drug developers and other researchers, who will be able to use the DNA results and real-world experiences of participants not only to better understand Parkinson's, but also to recruit patients for studies and trials more efficiently.

"Parkinson's is an extremely variable disease that affects individual patients in unique ways. This complicates drug development and clinical trial design," Todd Sherer, PhD, CEO of the foundation, said in a statement. "Fox DEN addresses this by bringing the patient experience to researchers at an unprecedented scale and amplifying the patient voice in the development of new therapies for Parkinson's."

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