25 Jun, 2020

Sano Genetics offers 1,000 free DNA tests to power research into COVID-19

Collecting genetic data is vital for increasing understanding of the virus

We’re excited to announce that Sano Genetics is collaborating with over 100 researchers from top University hospitals and genomics research institutes around the world to help answer the question: How does our DNA impact COVID-19 infection severity and risk?

So far, preliminary links have been made between genetics and COVID-19 infection risk and severity, but researchers need to go further to understand why some people experience life-threatening symptoms, while others develop only mild symptoms.

To discover cures for COVID-19 and other diseases, people need to be able to contribute to medical science, effortlessly and on their own terms.

That’s why we’re offering two ways for people to join the effort to increase understanding of COVID-19, from their own homes:

1. If you already have genetic data from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Nebula Genomics, Dante Labs or other DTC genetics companies, you can upload your data and update your COVID-19 status. As with all studies supported by Sano, your data will never be shared without your permission.

2. If you do not have genetic data, you may be eligible for one of our free at-home DNA tests. Free testing is immediately available for anyone who has had a severe case of COVID-19, are under 50 and have no other pre-existing conditions. In the coming months, we plan to open free testing more widely to include severe, moderate, mild, and asymptomatic cases.

Funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, will allow us to offer more than 1,000 free DNA test kits in the coming months.

As a member of the COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative, led by researchers from the Finnish Institute for Molecular Medicine, the Broad Institute of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, we’ll share this anonymised data with the consortium so that the worldwide scientific community can work together on COVID-19 solutions.

As with all studies on Sano, participants have full control of their data and access to a dashboard to visualise their contributions and get updates on the research as it progresses.

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