Free Testing Program For Rare Genetic Disorders Of Obesity Launched By Rhythm Pharmaceuticals

Source: Rhythm Pharmaceuticals
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Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutics for the treatment of rare genetic disorders of obesity, today announced the launch of Uncovering Rare Obesity, a free genetic testing program that may help determine if individuals have an underlying genetic cause of their severe obesity.

Founded in 2013, Rhythm is a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Boston focused on the development and commercialization of therapies for the treatment of rare genetic disorders of obesity. The company is leveraging the Rhythm Engine, comprised of its Phase 2 basket study, TEMPO Registry, GO-ID genotyping study and Uncovering Rare Obesity program, to improve the understanding, diagnosis and potentially the treatment of rare genetic disorders of obesity.

Rhythm is focused on identifying people with early-onset obesity that may be caused by certain rare genetic variants. As part of these efforts, Rhythm has launched Uncovering Rare Obesity in order to increase access to genetic testing.

Rhythm is partnering with PreventionGenetics, a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified independent laboratory, to conduct the genetic testing for Uncovering Rare Obesity. This program only covers the cost of the test and excludes office visit, copay, sample collection, and any other related costs to a participant. In addition, as part of the program, licensed genetic counselors from PWN Health, a leading provider of professional guidance for diagnostic and genetic testing, are available to advise participating individuals.

Rare genetic disorders of obesity may arise from variants in the genes comprising the MC4R pathway, a component of the central melanocortin pathway that plays a vital role in regulating energy intake and expenditure. People with early-onset severe obesity and insatiable hunger may be eligible to participate in the Uncovering Rare Obesity program. To qualify, a person must be either 2-18 years of age with a body mass index (BMI) in the 97th percentile or more, or 19 years and older with a BMI of 40 or more and a history of childhood obesity before age 10. More information about Uncovering Rare Obesity is available for the patient community and for healthcare professionals.

“Rhythm has several initiatives designed to advance the understanding of genetic causes of severe obesity, and Uncovering Rare Obesity broadens these efforts and brings access to genetic testing into the community setting.” … “Uncovering Rare Obesity complements and adds to our growing program of sequencing and patient identification initiatives such as the GO-ID genotyping study, TEMPO Registry, ongoing collaborations with biobanks and our Phase 2 basket study.” – Keith Gottesdiener, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Rhythm

“Currently available physician-ordered genetic testing panels are often cost prohibitive, while many consumer genetic tests are incomplete when it comes to genetic disorders of obesity. This makes it difficult to confirm an underlying genetic cause of severe obesity.” … “Rhythm’s Uncovering Rare Obesity program is an important step in the understanding of these disorders that might help patients and their families find new diagnosis and treatment strategies in the years ahead.” – Ethan Lazarus, M.D., President of the Clinical Nutrition Center and Vice President of the Obesity Medicine Association in Denver

Sources

  1. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/07/17/1884223/0/en/Rhythm-Pharmaceuticals-Launches-Free-Genetic-Testing-Program-for-Rare-Genetic-Disorders-of-Obesity.html
  2. https://www.bloomberg.com/profile/company/RYTM:US
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David is a consultant/medical writer for a number of ongoing healthcare initiatives including for Athla LLC/ HealthLabs, a discovery automation company for Big Data leveraging Big Compute. He has a number of years experience in academic R&D and healthcare related projects including the fields of oncology and immunotherapy.