University’s genealogical and family history database has over 6 million records.

Axial Biotech inked an agreement to gain access to the University of Utah genetic resources for the development of diagnostics related to spine disorders. The partnership will help Axial expand the use of ScoliScore™ AIS Prognostic Test, which is currently marketed for progressive scoliosis, as well as other diagnostics for disorders like degenerative disc disease.

The firm will use the University’s Utah population database (UPDB) along with its GenDB Genealogical Database. The UPDB is a genealogical and family history database reportedly composed of over 6 million records. It provides information on genetic, epidemiological, demographic, and public health studies, which can be used to identify familial clusters.

Utah has an ideal population of extended families with multiple generations whose medical histories can be used to quickly determine heritability of complex diseases, Axial Biotech points out. As a result of high rates of immigration to Utah from a broad array of ethnic backgrounds, the heterogeneity allows for population studies representative of the general population of the U.S., the firm adds.

GenDB was used in the development of the ScoliScore AIS Prognostic Test. It contains multigenerational genealogical records of more than 30 million ancestors and descendants of the original Utah pioneers, according to Axial Biotech. The database and software allow for a retrievable format for assembling family pedigrees.

“In a short amount of time we were able to crack the genetic code to progressive scoliosis using our GenDB database,” says John Climaco, president and CEO of Axial Biotech. “Through the mapping of a disease passed on from family member to family member, the University’s proprietary datasets further accelerate our ability to identify and validate genetic markers that can be used to develop diagnostic tests that allow for a more personalized and a more accurate approach to spine care.”

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