Sequana Therapeutics announced Thursday that it willcollaborate with Kaiser Permanente Northern California tostudy the genetic causes of Type II (adult onset) diabetes. Thecollaboration will take advantage of Kaiser's large data base ofpatients to identify families with more than one diabeticmember. The data base includes approximately 75,000 Type IIdiabetics, Sequana said.

Sequana of La Jolla, Calif., and Kaiser's Division of Research willwork together to isolate, clone and sequence human genesassociated with the disease. The company hopes to recruit1,000 families for the study.

Privately held Sequana noted that over 80 percent of identicaltwin pairs will develop Type II diabetes if one twin is affected,indicating a strong genetic component to the disease. ScottSalka, Sequana's director of business operations, told BioWorldthat Type II, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, is generallyconsidered a polygenic disease, a research area in whichSequana is focusing its development efforts. The companyhopes to develop diagnostic and therapeutic products from theknowledge it gains in its research collaboration with Kaiser, headded.

Sequana is providing the funding for the study, Salka said, butwould not disclose the amount of financing it will put towardthe project. -- Karl Thiel

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