BURLINGAME, Calif., May 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Color announces a first of its kind initiative to open up population-level access to genetic testing for hereditary cancer and high cholesterol. Color Population Health is launching with partners including the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health and Thomas Jefferson University; The University of Chicago; and the University of California, San Francisco to provide genetic testing for these conditions to their patients. These partnerships expand on Color's existing work to provide genetic testing to broad populations, including ongoing research collaboration with the University of Washington. Millions of individuals in the U.S. are affected by these serious but clinically actionable conditions, identified by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as "Tier 1 genomic applications". However, less than 10% are aware of their risk. Today's announcement is a key step to increasing access to this important preventive health information.
Color Population Health is designed to responsibly deliver preventive genomic information to large populations and will provide partners with full sequencing for genes associated with the CDC Tier 1 genomic conditions: Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer, Lynch Syndrome, and Familial Hypercholesterolemia. These conditions are highlighted by the CDC because they have high impact on risk (penetrance), have been studied in large populations, and have well-established interventions that confer a high probability of positive health impact for those screened. According to a health outcomes study by Precision Health Economics, commissioned by Color, universal screening for these three conditions among all U.S. adults has the potential to lead to the prevention or early detection of over 1 million cases of cancer or cardiac events over 20 years.
Through this partnership, the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health and Thomas Jefferson University; The University of Chicago; University of California, San Francisco; and The University of Washington will be able to provide genetic testing to their patients. Patients will have access to genetic counselors through Color or the participating institutions and receive access to cascade screening through Color's Family Testing Program. Additionally, all partners will receive physician education support, digital tools for health history collection and longitudinal surveys, and ongoing updates as classifications and guidelines change. All samples will be processed in Color's CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited laboratory and interpreted by board-certified genetics experts. Color complies with the applicable requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended.
"We are thrilled to partner with some of the most respected medical institutions in order to advance preventive care and research," said Color CEO, Othman Laraki. "For too long, cost and access barriers have stood in the way of reaching people who could benefit from learning their genetic risk for serious hereditary conditions. These partnerships represent an important step in breaking down those barriers and advancing population health and research."
"Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health is proud to ensure that every cancer patient has access to potentially life-saving genetic information at a low cost and in an easily accessible manner," said Dr. Stephen Klasko, President and CEO of Jefferson Health and Thomas Jefferson University. "The partnership with Color builds on our commitment to providing personalized cancer care. We believe that this is a step toward offering preventative genomics responsibly to all patients across Jefferson Health."
"As one of the leading hereditary cancer clinics in the U.S., we are committed to providing timely access to this critical genetic testing. This will help all who choose to be screened understand if they have a higher chance of developing cancer and create a personalized plan for care," said Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS, President, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and cancer genetics expert who was part of the team that identified the BRCA2 gene. "After piloting this effort, we hope to expand this innovative model of delivering genetic testing much more widely."
"At University of Chicago Medicine, we are committed to improving the health and access to quality care among our community. This exciting initiative by Color allows us to expand genetic testing to diverse patient populations in the greater Chicago area," said Dr. Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics and Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics. "Through this initiative, University of Chicago Medicine is bringing advancements in genetic testing with the goal of reducing cancer disparities."
Color is a modern health service that applies expertise in robotics, genomics, software and design to a crucial healthcare challenge: preventing or detecting conditions where early knowledge can improve health outcomes and reduce treatment costs. Color's affordable, clinical-grade genetic tests help people understand their risk for hereditary cancer and heart conditions - knowledge that they and their doctors can use to create personalized health plans. Color tests are physician-ordered and include complimentary access to board-certified genetic counselors for clients and healthcare providers. For further information, email [email protected] or visit http://pophealth.color.com.