Allelica, a leading genomics software company that develops digital tools to develop, validate and calculate polygenic risk scores for common diseases, is teaming with Thomas Fernandez, MD, of Yale School of Medicine in a research project aimed at uncovering the genetic basis for multiple childhood neuropsychiatric disorders.

Fernandez will use Allelica’s polygenic risk score (PRS) modules to accelerate his ongoing research determining the genetic basis for neuropsychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), ADHD, anxiety disorders, Tourette Syndrome, chronic tic disorders, motor stereotypies, and autism-spectrum disorders. Fernandez aims to discover which combinations of genes are underlying risk factors for these disorders in individuals with varying polygenic backgrounds.

A PRS is a measurement of a person’s risk of disease based on their genes and is calculated by combining the effects of many genetic variants across the genome. This information can be used to stratify individuals based on their risk of disease. By combining PRS with conventional risk factors, Allelica aims to make precision medicine available at scale.

“My lab is excited to expand our genetic investigations of childhood neuropsychiatric disorders using Allelica’s tools,” says Fernandez. “So far, our research has focused on studying rare genetic variants. We believe that insights gained from studying both rare and common genetic variation together in the same individuals will lead to a better understanding of disease biology, diagnoses, and treatments.”

Through Allelica’s advanced genomic analysis, which is available as an on-premises service, Fernandez gains access to the industry’s most advanced datasets and algorithms, capable of generating PRSs with the highest predictive power. Allelica’s genomic software tools enable robust PRS development and clinical application, dramatically accelerating research that might otherwise require a team of bioinformaticians, months of trial and error, and expensive computing resources.

“Allelica is delighted to work with Dr. Fernandez in pursuit of the important objective of early detection and prevention of psychiatric disease in children through precision genomics analysis,” says George Busby, CSO of Allelica. “Dr. Fernandez’s clinical data and Allelica’s PRS software tools are a potent combination that we expect will accelerate his clinical team’s research.”

Featured image: Thomas Fernandez, MD, of Yale School of Medicine. Photo: Yale School of Medicine