Vita Genomics aims to get the first draft of Asian SNP database by July
Taipei, Taiwan March 3, 2003
Vita Genomics, Inc. held its opening ceremony today and announced that it will finish the first draft of Asian single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) database by July. The database of genetic variations among Asians could lead to the development of drugs for diseases prevalent in Asian region.
The recent completion of the mapping of the human genome has enabled scientists to study the effects of medicine on individuals as well as understanding what kind of role specific genes play in contracting specific diseases. Established in Taiwan, Vita has focused on information of genes that are relevant to diseases with high prevalence rate in Taiwan, such as hepatitis, hepatoma, asthma, and lung cancer.
"We hope to finalize our first Asian SNP database draft by July. "said Ellson Chen, president and CEO of Vita Genomics. To achieve this goal, Vita will search and map SNPs in public and Celera genetic database and compare them with DNA taken from Taiwanese patient samples. With studying the information obtained from SNP analysis, prescreening patients based on known SNP pattern, Vita can significantly identify genes that are related to diseases prevalent in Asia.
Chen stressed that a "SNP" is the most common and simple form of genetic variation and represent the origin of most differences among individuals, including predispositions to specific diseases and variations in drug efficacy and response. Whereas other companies doing similar studies are concentrating mainly on Caucasians, Vita wants to focus on the Asian population.
Vita will use the database to develop its Pharmacogenomics platform and seek collaborations among leading biotech and major pharmaceutical companies worldwide. In the near future, the company will team up with other Asian biotech companies in order to study diseases that plague Asia as a whole, and their relationship to genetics.