LINKÖPING, Sweden; February 14, 2022—One of the goals of AMRA’s collaboration with Pfizer and UK Biobank is to help identify and validate noninvasive biomarkers to assess liver fat, which traditionally must be measured via liver biopsy. Pfizer recently used AMRA’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) liver proton density fat fraction (PDFF) biomarker in a genome-wide association study (GWAS)to validate genetic loci associated with liver fat percentage. These genetic markers may potentially expand the toolkit of researchers seeking to treat patients with metabolic diseases.
Pfizer’s recent GWAS showed several genomic loci significantly associated with liver fat percentage, which was quantified by AMRA’s protocol for MRI PDFF — a quantitative imaging biomarker that enables accurate and reproducible assessment of liver fat. The genomic hits included two fatty liver disease-associated genes, PNPLA3 and TM6SF2; metabolism-related genes MARC1 and GPAM; glucokinase inhibitor GCKR; and several other genes. These findings show that AMRA’s MRI protocols have the potential to equip genetic researchers with accurate and precise biomarkers for identifying novel disease associations and exploring disease-related pathways.
AMRA and Pfizer are currently working to analyze the body composition of up to 100,000 individuals from the UK Biobank biomedical database to generate detailed data in support of target discovery and validation — to aid scientific and clinical research into a range of complex diseases and overall metabolic health. A significant contribution to the collection is being provided by AMRA, a ground-breaking digital health company and global leader in body composition analysis that has quantified the distribution of liver fat in over 40,000 imaged individuals.
Learn more about AMRA’s research services and capabilities.
About AMRA Medical
AMRA is a digital health company at the forefront of medical imaging and precision medicine. The company has developed a new global standard in body composition analysis, the ability to automatically produce multiple fat and muscle biomarkers with unrivaled precision and accuracy, as well as contextual disease insights – all from a single, rapid, whole-body MRI scan.
Learn more about UK Biobank
UK Biobank is a large-scale biomedical database and research resource containing anonymised genetic, lifestyle and health information from half a million UK participants. UK Biobank’s database, which includes blood samples, heart and brain scans and genetic data of the volunteer participants, is globally accessible to approved researchers who are undertaking health-related research that’s in the public interest.
UK Biobank recruited 500,000 people aged between 40-69 years in 2006-2010 from across the UK. With their consent, they provided detailed information about their lifestyle, physical measures and had blood, urine and saliva samples collected and stored for future analysis.
UK Biobank’s research resource is a major contributor in the advancement of modern medicine and treatment, enabling better understanding of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses – including cancer, heart diseases and stroke. Since the UK Biobank resource was opened for research use in April 2012, over 28,000 researchers from +90 countries have been approved to use it and more than 3,000 peer-reviewed papers that used the resource have now been published.
UK Biobank is generously supported by its founding funders the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and Wellcome, as well as the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The organisation has over 180 dedicated members of staff, based in multiple locations across the UK.
You can find out more about UK Biobank at http://www.ukbiobank.ac.uk