The company, working together with the Lund University and The Broad Institute scientific centers, said on Monday it has mapped all genes of a group of patients and compared them with those of healthy individuals.
"Canvassing the entire genome ... will allow scientists to gain novel insights into the disease's genetic underpinnings -- information that could potentially lead to the development of new, more effective therapies," Novartis said.
The news comes as researchers over the weekend said they had homed in on five areas of DNA that could account for 70 percent of the genetic risk for type-2 diabetes, identifying four different areas of genetic variation conferring risk.
The scientists also confirmed that a fifth area was associated with the disease. Type-2 diabetes affects more than 170 million people world-wide, Novartis said.
Novartis said all results of its analysis are being made accessible free of charge on the Internet to scientists. The work was the result of a public-private collaboration known as the Diabetes Genetics Initiative.
Type-2 or adult onset diabetes is becoming more and more common around the world and is even being found now in children. It is associated with a rich diet and a lack of exercise
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