The Journal, Human Genetics, Publishes Results Supporting Interleukin Genetics' Heart Health Test
Interleukin 1B genetic patterns predict life-long tendency to inflammation and related cardiovascular event risk profile
Waltham, MA -- May 1, 2008 /PRNewswire/—Interleukin Genetics, Inc. (AMEX:ILI), today announced publication of the results of clinical studies that support the company's Heart Health Genetic Test to assess cardiovascular risk. The article, titled, "IL1B Gene Promoter Haplotype Pairs Predict Clinical Levels of Interleukin-1β and C-reactive Protein," was published in the journal Human Genetics (123:387-398; May 2008) and further confirms prior studies associating variations in the Interleukin 1B (IL1B) gene with the inflammatory response.
Sir Gordon W. Duff, M.D., Ph.D., one of the pioneers in the genetics of inflammatory diseases, was the senior author of the paper. Dr. Duff, former Director of the Division of Genomic Medicine, University of Sheffield, UK, commented, "It is now well recognized that inflammation is an underlying factor in many diseases including cardiovascular disease. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is a major regulator of inflammation. This paper from a collaborative team of international researchers, demonstrates that people with specific variation patterns in the IL1B gene had higher levels of IL-1β and C-reactive protein (CRP). Studies from our group and others have found that these same IL1B gene variations were associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and an increased risk for myocardial infarction at a younger age, that is, an early first heart attack."
The IL1B gene is among the first gene activated when the body encounters a challenge of almost any type, ranging from bacterial infections to bad cholesterol. IL-1β initiates a complex cascade of related immune responses. Interleukin Genetics' approach, started over fifteen years ago, is to study variations in regulatory, or on/off switch, regions for these first mover genes and then link them to biological events and risk of inflammatory disease.
Dr. Kenneth Kornman, Chief Scientific Officer at Interleukin Genetics and an author on the paper explained the practical utility of the IL1B genetic information. "We use a simple cheek swab to collect an individual's DNA. Our technologists perform the genetic analysis in our CLIA certified laboratory. A report is generated about an individual's risk for excess inflammation and cardiovascular disease. The privacy-ensured report is sent directly to the individual, who then has access to physicians and genetic counselors to discuss results."
These peer-reviewed results build on prior studies which showed that three gene variations inherited together from a parent, called a haplotype, functioned together to control regulation of the gene producing IL-1β. In this study, four specific IL1B haplotype pairs, one from each parent, representing just over half of the study population, were associated with higher tissue levels of IL-1β levels, and two of those haplotype pairs were also associated with increased blood CRP levels. CRP is an inflammatory chemical that is well-established as an independent marker of risk for heart disease.
Interleukin Genetics' Heart Health Genetic Test is available to consumers in the U.S. and Canada under the Gensona® brand and marketed by Alticor Inc. The Gensona® Heart Health Genetic Test employs a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (genetic sequence variations called SNPs) to identify specific genetic patterns in the Interleukin 1 genes. These genetic patterns are known to correlate with exaggerated inflammatory responses and increased risk of early cardiovascular disease. The Gensona® Heart Health Genetic Test is available in the Personalized Health Products category at Quixtar by e-mail at Quixtar.firstname.lastname@example.org. Quixtar also can be reached at 800-529-8772.
About Cardiovascular Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 700,000 people die annually of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease involves the heart and vessels and is the number one killer in the U.S. accounting for nearly 30-percent of all deaths. Cardiovascular disease has a number of forms but the most common are myocardial infarction and angina pectoris which affect the heart itself. There are well known environmental risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease such as smoking, diet, inactivity and increased alcohol use. Heredity also plays a factor in cardiovascular disease since other risk factors like high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol tend to run in families. Cardiovascular disease can be reduced by controlling environmental factors and understanding the genetic factors that put people at greater risk for heart disease.
About Interleukin Genetics
Interleukin Genetics, Inc. (AMEX: ILI) is a genetics-focused personalized health company that develops preventive consumer products and genetic tests for sale to the emerging personalized health market. Focused on the future of health and medicine, Interleukin uses its leading genetics research and scientific capabilities to develop and test innovative preventive and therapeutic products. Interleukin currently offers an array of Nutraceuticals and OTCeuticals®, including Ginkoba®, Ginsana® and Venastat® which are sold at the nation's largest food, drug and mass retailers, and has commercialized genetic tests for periodontal disease risk assessment, cardiovascular risk assessment, and general nutrition assessment. Interleukin is headquartered in Waltham, MA. For more information about Interleukin, its products and ongoing programs, please visit www.ilgenetics.com.
Certain statements contained herein are "forward-looking" statements including statements regarding our ability to develop diagnostic, personalized nutritional and therapeutic products to prevent or treat diseases of inflammation and other genetic variations, our ability to screen nutritional compounds for their effects on inflammatory responses and other genetic variations, given specific genetic patterns and our ability to make progress in advancing our core technologies. Because such statements include risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the risk of market acceptance of our products, the risk of technology and product obsolescence, delays in product development, the performance of our commercial partners, the availability of adequate capital, the actions of our competitors and other competitive risks, and those risks and uncertainties described in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 as amended, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other filings made by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We disclaim any obligation or intention to update these forward-looking statements.
Gensona® is a registered trademark of Alticor Inc.
[Editors Note: Interleukin 1β (IL-1β) is the name for the protein, whereas Interleukin 1B (IL1B) is the name of the gene.]