Celmatix and 23andMe said today they plan to recruit 4,500 women who are trying to conceive or who have recently conceived for a new fertility research community.
In addition to collecting genetic data from the women, the study will longitudinally track clinical, environmental, lifestyle, diet-associated, and fertility outcome metrics, the companies said.
The study is currently open to U.S. residents only.
Women aged 18-45 who are trying to conceive or who have recently conceived can participate from home by agreeing to provide a saliva sample, answer one online survey every two months for 18 months, and share their de-identified, individual-level data with researchers.
All study participants will receive free 23andMe’s Personal Genome Service®, the companies said. More information on the study can be found at www.23andme.com/fertility.
Celmatix said the data will enhance its research efforts, aimed at understanding factors that contribute to lifelong reproductive potential in a diverse population. The company aims to identify new genetic and other markers related to reproductive health.
To date, Celmatix says, it has identified more than 5,200 unique regions of the human genome that impact a person’s fertility potential.
“This ambitious initiative will bring us closer to enabling any woman, who may want to have a child one day, to better understand how decisions about lifestyle, diet, and when to start building a family may impact her ability to have as many children as she wants given her underlying genetics,” Celmatix founder and CEO Piraye Yurttas Beim, Ph.D., said in a statement. “Many studies have explored these factors in isolation. This is the first study to bring them all together in one longitudinal dataset.”
A scientific advisor to the study, Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, added that no previous study has been conducted on the scale envisioned by Celmatix and 23andMe while simultaneously tracking the impact of environment, diet, lifestyle, and clinical metrics in the context of genetic background on fertility potential and outcomes.
“Not only does this work have the potential to drive the next generation of personalized medicine products to impact clinical management, but it will also likely result in significant contributions to our fundamental understanding of the science of fertility,” Dr. Chavarro stated.
Added Emily Drabant Conley, Ph.D., 23andMe’s vice president of business development: “Ultimately, this study has the capability to positively impact our understanding of fertility by leveraging Big Data, helping women understand their unique fertility, and empowering potential parents to make informed choices.”