Invitae announces its partnership with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) to offer sponsored, no-charge genetic testing to patients through the Detect Muscular Dystrophy program in MDA’s care center network, a network of clinics at more than 150 of the nation’s top healthcare institutions.

Research has shown no-charge testing programs help increase utilization of genetic testing, which can shorten the time to diagnosis by as much as two years in some conditions. Accurate diagnoses enable clinicians to focus on providing disease-specific care sooner, helping reduce costs and improve outcomes.  

“Muscular dystrophy consists of many disorders with overlapping symptoms that often make diagnosis more challenging. Genetic testing can help accelerate diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy or Becker Muscular Dystrophy, which enables clinicians to begin identifying treatment options sooner,” said Lynn O’Connor Vos, President and CEO of Muscular Dystrophy Association. “By bringing this program to our care centers, we can make it easier for patients to get tested, moving them one step closer to the care they need.”

In addition to genetic testing, the Detect Muscular Dystrophy program offers post-test genetic counseling to help patients understand test results and make more informed decisions about their health and follow-up care. Detect Muscular Dystrophy also offers genetic testing to family members of patients with genetic variants associated with disease to better understand their own disease risks.

“Genetic testing can expedite making an accurate diagnosis, facilitate earlier interventions, allow genetic counseling of family members, and support clinical research into muscular dystrophies, including Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies, and also many other forms of muscular dystrophy,” states Robert Nussbaum, MD, chief medical officer of Invitae.

“We’re proud to work with MDA to increase access to early genetic testing among patients suspected of having muscular dystrophy. Their network of care centers offers patients expert care and easier access to genetic testing to inform that care.”

[Source(s): Invitae Corporation, PR Newswire]