PrecisionLife identifies first detailed genetic risk factors for long COVID and common mechanisms with ME/CFS and other complex diseases

July 18, 2023

•    PrecisionLife identifies 73 novel genes highly associated with long COVID patients with severe or fatigue dominant forms of the disease.

•    Many of the genes found have known genetic associations across complex diseases including ME/CFS, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, autoimmune, and metabolic diseases.

•    Study discovers multiple novel drug targets for long COVID and opportunities to repurpose existing drug candidates in clinical development pipelines.

Long COVID is a debilitating chronic condition that has affected over 100 million people globallyPrecisionLife, a leading computational biology company driving precision medicine in complex chronic diseases, has announced the results of its long COVID study, providing the first detailed genetic insights into the condition and its commonalities with other diseases, including myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). This analysis opens the door for new precision diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to address the massive unmet medical need affecting the lives of millions of patients.

Long COVID is a debilitating chronic condition that has affected over 100 million people globally. It is characterized by diverse symptoms, including fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and respiratory problems. Despite considerable global research, studies have so far failed to identify the detailed genetic risk factors, the mechanisms behind the disease, or any common pathophysiology with other conditions that present with similar symptoms, such as ME/CFS.

PrecisionLife used its unique combinatorial analytics approach to compare subpopulations of long COVID patients from Sano Genetics’ long COVID GOLD study. The analysis identified 73 genes that were highly associated with severe and fatigue dominant forms of the disease. Of these, 9 genes have prior associations to acute COVID-19 and 14 were differentially expressed in a transcriptomic analysis of long COVID patients.

To understand similarities with other post-viral, fatigue and other complex disorders, PrecisionLife compared the results of its long COVID analysis against known genetic associations across a range of over 170 neurological, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, autoimmune, and metabolic diseases. This cross-disease analysis highlighted long COVID risk genes that were also implicated in a wide range of diseases and found that 9 genes associated with long COVID were also found in a recent combinatorial analysis of ME/CFS patients.

This study demonstrates the power of combinatorial analytics for reproducibly stratifying heterogeneous populations in complex diseases, offering new approaches for accurate diagnosis and the development of precision-targeted treatments for patients.

Among the 73 genes shown to be associated with long COVID, 42 have potential for novel drug discovery approaches, with 13 of these already targeted by drugs in clinical development pipelines. PrecisionLife is now evaluating the repurposing potential of these targets for use in treating long COVID and ME/CFS.

Dr Steve Gardner, CEO of PrecisionLife said “Understanding the complex biology of heterogeneous diseases is key to creating better diagnostic and treatment options for patients. These groundbreaking results build upon the genetic findings from previous combinatorial analyses of severe acute COVID-19 and ME/CFS patient populations. Using combinatorial analytics to gain unprecedented insight into the drivers of disease biology, we can make a real impact for millions of patients who are desperately seeking accurate diagnosis and better treatments.”

The data is being submitted for peer reviewed publication and is available on the pre-publication site medRxiv, here:

About PrecisionLife

PrecisionLife is a pioneering computational biology company changing the way the world predicts, prevents, and treats chronic disease.

Our mission is to find better, more personalized treatment options for patients with unmet medical needs - driving precision medicine beyond oncology and rare diseases, in complex common diseases that account for over 80% of healthcare spending.

Our innovative combinatorial approach allows us to uncover the deepest insights into disease biology and achieve mechanistic patient stratification even in the most heterogeneous conditions.

With a vast repository of information and intellectual property spanning around 50 indications, we have now developed one of the most extensive pipelines for precision targeted therapies. This wealth of knowledge empowers us to inform and de-risk every stage of biopharma innovation, from initial concept to the clinic, and to find secondary indications for existing drug programs.

To learn more about our groundbreaking work, please visit us at, connect with us on LinkedIn at @PrecisionLifeAI and follow us on Twitter at @PrecisionLifeAI.

Categories: Healthcare, COVID-19, Drug Discovery & Development
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