Interleukin Genetics and University of North Carolina Publish Genetic Factors Predictive of Progress


Interleukin Genetics and University of North Carolina Publish Genetic Factors Predictive of Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis

Individuals with knee osteoarthritis who had variations in a gene for an anti-inflammatory chemical were twice as likely to progress to severe osteoarthritis as those without the genetic variations.

WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Interleukin Genetics, Inc. (OTCQB: ILIU) announced today the online publication in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage of a study with investigators at the Thurston Arthritis Research Center of the University of North Carolina entitled, "IL-1 receptor antagonist gene as a predictive biomarker of progression of knee osteoarthritis in a population cohort."

The newly published paper reports that individuals with radiographic knee osteoarthritis (OA) with a specific pattern of gene variations in the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist gene (IL1RN), which is involved in controlling inflammation, were more likely to progress to severe disease than those without the gene variations. In addition, the effect of these gene variations was particularly important in those with high body mass index, while not having a strong effect in those with lower body mass index.

The study was performed under the direction of Dr. Joanne Jordan, Director of the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina. "Progression of knee osteoarthritis often leads to severe disability and total knee replacement in many patients. The factors determining progression are poorly understood," said Dr. Jordan, "and the genetic markers we reported appear to substantially improve our ability to identify which knee OA patients are more likely to progress. Our goal of course is to use such information to improve drug development and medical management for our OA patients."

The study evaluated radiographic progression of knee OA using the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project, a well characterized population in North Carolina. Of 1,153 subjects, 154 had radiographic signs of knee OA initially. If they had the specific pattern of IL1RN gene variations that is found in approximately 40% of Caucasians they were more than twice as likely to have radiographic progression of the disease during the 4 to 11 years monitoring period than all other individuals with knee OA.

"This study was a critical validation of the importance of IL-1 receptor antagonist genetic variations in knee osteoarthritis that we and others have seen in other cohorts," said Dr. Kenneth Kornman, Chief Executive Officer of Interleukin Genetics. "We hope to start using this genetic information in partnerships to help guide therapeutic development to improve the management of knee OA."

About Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis affects an estimated 27 million people in the United States and is the most common type of arthritis, which is the leading cause of disability. OA was responsible for 686,000 total knee replacements in 2009, and no drugs are currently available to slow the progression of OA. Current medical management involves pain management and efforts such as weight loss to reduce stress on the knee.

About Interleukin Genetics, Inc.

Interleukin Genetics, Inc. (OTCQB: ILIU) develops and markets a line of genetic tests under the Inherent Health® and PST® brands. The products empower individuals to prevent certain chronic conditions and manage their existing health and wellness through genetic-based insights with actionable guidance. Interleukin Genetics leverages its research, intellectual property and genetic panel development expertise in metabolism and inflammation to facilitate the emerging personalized healthcare market. The Company markets its tests through partnerships with health and wellness companies, healthcare professionals and other distribution channels. Interleukin Genetics' flagship products include its proprietary PST genetic risk panel for periodontal disease and tooth loss susceptibility sold through dentists and the Inherent Health Weight Management Genetic Test that identifies the most effective diet and exercise program for an individual based on genetics. Interleukin Genetics is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. and operates an on-site, state-of-the-art DNA testing laboratory certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). For more information, please visit

About The Thurston Arthritis Research Center

Established at the University of North Carolina's School of Medicine in 1981, the Thurston Arthritis Research Center's mission is to investigate the causes, consequences and treatments of arthritis and autoimmune diseases and to reduce their impacts on patients, their families and society. More than 40 researchers and physicians from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Pharmacy and Dentistry collaborate to achieve the center's mission. Basic and translational clinical research focuses on the biological mechanisms, as well as the psychological and social impacts of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and vasculitis.

Certain statements contained herein are "forward-looking" statements, including statements that the genetic findings from the clinical studies have the potential to be used to improve drug development and medical management of osteoarthritis. Because such statements include risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the Interleukin Genetics' annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Interleukin Genetics disclaims any obligation or intention to update these forward-looking statements.

Interleukin Genetics, Inc.
Jennifer Violette, 781-398-0710
Public Relations
Interleukin Genetics, Inc.
Eliot Lurier, 781-398-0700, ext. 1204
Chief Financial Officer

KEYWORDS: United States North America Massachusetts North Carolina


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