2022-05-26| R&D

Phenomix Launches The First Obesity Biobank Registry To Study Underling Phenotypes

by Joy Lin
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On a mission to conquer obesity, Phenomix Sciences has launched its first obesity biobanking registry and outcomes study. The registry will study variability in obesity by looking at genetic and environmental factors in patients, and analyze interventions that will give maximum benefit to the individual patient. 

The first to enroll in Phenomix’s registry is Mayo Clinic, which will contribute patient outcomes from 2,000 patients currently being treated at its Rochester site. Findings from the database will be used to develop more predictive tests to identify the right intervention for each patient. 


Related article: Recounting 25 Years of Genetic and Human Diversity Discovery With deCODE Founder Kari Stefansson


A Constellation Made Of Four Obesity Phenotypes


With around 2 in 5 adults in the world classified as obese, the disease is a rapidly escalating healthcare crisis. Being obese increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and up to 13 different types of cancer. 

Phenomix, using research by founders and Mayo Clinic physicians Drs. Andres Acosta and Michael Camilleri, propose that obesity is a constellation of diseases made up of four different phenotypes — Hungry Brain, Hungry Gut, Emotional Hunger, and Slow Burn — requiring different treatments. 

Even though new weight management medication such as semaglutide and tirzepatide have generated excitement in the obesity community, patient response to treatment varies with underlying phenotypes. That’s where Phenomix’ biobanking study steps in. 

The study will take into account factors ranging from individual DNA, age, race, gender, education to socioeconomic status to pinpoint the cause of weight gain. 

The impact of the biobanking registry is considerable. Results could influence treatment recommendations, or change the way payers determine coverage, as well as how industry combines diagnostic testing with therapy. 

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