23andMe Aims To Raise Awareness of Lipoprotein(a), a Little-Known Genetic Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 24, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In support of Lipoprotein(a) Awareness Day, 23andMe Holding Co. (Nasdaq: ME) (23andMe), a leading human genetics and biopharmaceutical company, today announced a collaboration with Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation (Novartis) to increase awareness for Lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)). High levels of Lp(a) are associated with increased risk of heart attack, stroke and other life threatening conditions. The level of Lp(a), which can be detected through a simple blood test, is almost entirely determined by genes and is unrelated to diet, exercise or obesity, creating the need for greater awareness.
Roughly one in five people have high levels of Lp(a)1, which conveys a 2-4 times higher risk for heart disease2. However, only approximately 1 percent of adults in the US have had their Lp(a) level tested3.
With support from Novartis, 23andMe is piloting a new program to educate its customers about the risks associated with high Lp(a). 23andMe customers will be able to purchase a confidential screening test for Lp(a) and will be provided the option to connect with clinicians through 23andMe’s telehealth service, Lemonaid Health.
“We are excited to work with Novartis to raise awareness of Lp(a) and the importance of understanding risks associated with high Lp(a). 23andMe is a firm believer in enabling people to get information so they can be proactive about their health, which is how this pilot program with Novartis will benefit our customers," said Anne Wojcicki, CEO and Co-Founder of 23andMe. "This unique collaboration pioneers a new path for disease awareness, leveraging 23andMe's engaged customer base and telehealth services platform. We hope this effort shines a brighter light on the health risks associated with high Lp(a), and helps those who may be at risk.”
About Lp(a) (CDC):
- Lp(a) can build up in the walls of your blood vessels. The higher your Lp(a) level is, the more likely this is to happen. These deposits, called plaques, can decrease blood flow to your heart, brain, kidneys, lungs, legs, and other parts of your body. Plaques can grow over time or suddenly rupture, blocking blood vessels and leading to heart attacks or strokes.
- Lp(a) can cause increased clotting, which can lead to rapidly formed blockages in blood vessels.
- Lp(a) promotes inflammation which increases the likelihood that plaques will rupture.
- High Lp(a) can also lead to narrowing of the aortic valve, called aortic stenosis, because of its role in inflammation.3 Chronic inflammation leads to calcium build up on the valve, causing stiffness. This can result in reduced blood flow if the valve is unable to open completely. In some cases, people with aortic stenosis need surgery or a procedure to replace the aortic valve.
23andMe is a genetics-led consumer healthcare and biopharmaceutical company empowering a healthier future. For more information, please visit www.23andMe.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including, without limitation, statements regarding the future performance of 23andMe’s businesses in consumer genetics and therapeutics and the growth and potential of its proprietary research platform. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included or incorporated in this press release, including statements regarding 23andMe’s strategy, financial position, funding for continued operations, cash reserves, projected costs, plans, and objectives of management, are forward-looking statements. The words "believes," "anticipates," "estimates," "plans," "expects," "intends," "may," "could," "should," "potential," "likely," "projects," “predicts,” "continue," "will," “schedule,” and "would" or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology, are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements are predictions based on 23andMe’s current expectations and projections about future events and various assumptions. 23andMe cannot guarantee that it will actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in its forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on 23andMe’s forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (many of which are beyond the control of 23andMe), or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained herein are also subject generally to other risks and uncertainties that are described from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including under Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and as revised and updated by our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. The statements made herein are made as of the date of this press release and, except as may be required by law, 23andMe undertakes no obligation to update them, whether as a result of new information, developments, or otherwise.
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1NHLBI Working Group Recommendations to Reduce Lipoprotein(a)-Mediated Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Aortic Stenosis | Journal of the American College of Cardiology (jacc.org)
2 - A Test in Context: Lipoprotein(a): Diagnosis, Prognosis, Controversies, and Emerging Therapies - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Lipoprotein(a): An independent, genetic, and causal factor for cardiovascular disease and acute myocardial infarction - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Use of Lipoprotein(a) in clinical practice: A biomarker whose time has come. A scientific statement from the National Lipid Association - PubMed (nih.gov)
3 Characteristics and lipid lowering treatment patterns in patients tested for lipoprotein(a): A real-world US study - ScienceDirect