Genetic testing for acute hepatic porphyria, at no charge

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No-charge genetic testing for acute hepatic porphyria

Invitae and Alnylam have partnered to offer genetic testing at no charge for individuals who may carry a gene mutation known to be associated with acute hepatic porphyria (AHPs).

On average, it takes 15 years from symptom onset for a patient to receive a correct diagnosis of AHP.1 The Alnylam Act® program was developed to reduce barriers to genetic testing and counseling in order to help people make more informed decisions about their health.

While Alnylam provides financial support for this program, tests and services are performed by independent third parties. Healthcare professionals must confirm that patients meet certain criteria to use the program. Alnylam receives de-identified patient data from this program, but at no time does Alnylam receive patient identifiable information. Alnylam receives contact information for health care providers who use this program. Genetic testing is available in the US and Canada. Genetic counseling is only available in the US. Healthcare professionals who use this program have no obligation to recommend, purchase, order, prescribe, promote, administer, use or support any Alnylam product.

What is porphyria?

Porphyrias are a group of rarely diagnosed disorders that are classified based on the predominant site of enzyme defect and where heme precursors accumulate in the heme biosynthesis pathway.

The acute hepatic porphyrias—including acute intermittent porphyria (AIP), variegate porphyria (VP), hereditary coproporphyria (HCP), and ALAD-deficient porphyria (ADP)—are characterized by acute, potentially life-threatening attacks and chronic, debilitating symptoms that negatively impact patients’ quality of life.


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Ordering instructions

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Program eligibility

  • Patient is at least 16 years old with elevated (greater than the upper limit of normal) urinary porphobilinogen (PBG) or aminolevulinic acid (ALA) levels


  • Patient is at least 16 years old with unexplained recurrent (more than one), prolonged (>24 hours) episodes of severe, diffuse (poorly localized) abdominal pain, AND
  • At least 2 of the following:
    • Red to brownish urine
    • Known or suspected family history of an acute hepatic porphyria
    • Blistering skin lesions on sun-exposed areas
    • Peripheral nervous system manifestations occurring around the time of abdominal pain (i.e., motor neuropathy [paresis], sensory neuropathy [numbness, tingling, limb pain])
    • Central nervous system manifestations occurring around the time of abdominal pain (i.e., confusion, anxiety, seizures, hallucinations)
    • Autonomic nervous system manifestations occurring around the time of abdominal pain (i.e., hyponatremia [Na < LLN], tachycardia, hypertension, nausea and vomiting, constipation)

Benefits of testing

The benefits of genetic testing include the ability to:

  • Identify risk of disease for patients and their family members
  • Shorten the time to diagnosis and help prevent misdiagnoses
  • Help determine if patients are eligible to participate in clinical trials
  • Provide information about support services such as patient advocacy organizations

Genetic testing with Invitae

The Alnylam Act program offers testing for the 4 genes associated with the acute hepatic porphyrias:

  • ALAD
  • CPOX
  • HMBS
  • PPOX
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Family testing

If the test comes back positive, Invitae encourages genetic testing for first-degree relatives of the original patient.

  • If a family member meets eligibility criteria, order testing through the Alnylam Act program.

  • Family members who don't meet eligibility criteria do not currently qualify for testing under the Alnylam Act program. However, Invitae can offer family variant testing at no charge. Learn more >

Ordering made easy

Place your order Collect a sample Results

To place a paper-based order, download the paper order form.

To place an order online:

  1. Sign up for an account and start a new order
  2. Under Test Selection, click on the Partnership Programs tab and enter AHP in the Invitae Partner Code field
  3. Use the search bar to select the Invitae Acute Hepatic Porphyrias Panel
  4. Fill in the required patient information
  5. Under Billing Information, select Institutional Billing and leave all fields blank
  6. Complete the Order Authorization section and submit the order
  7. Fill out, print and sign the eligibility criteria form, which includes a required physician consent, and include it with the specimen
To collect a specimen:
  1. Order a specimen collection kit (blood or saliva)
  2. Collect the specimen and ship it back to Invitae
  3. Include the signed eligibility criteria form with the specimen
  4. For additional information, see specimen and shipping requirements
To receive results:
  1. Once Invitae receives the sample, you will receive the results in 10–21 calendar days, on average
  2. If you created an online account, you can view the status of your order by logging into your account
  3. You will receive a notification email once the test results are ready

Support every step of the way

Client services

Available to answer your questions or help you through the testing process.


Sponsored genetic counseling

Alnylam is sponsoring no-charge, telephone-based genetic counseling for patients in the U.S. For assistance with genetic counseling or to schedule an appointment, please call InformedDNA, the third-party genetic counseling service, at 888-475-3128.

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Confidence begins with quality

  • Commitment to quality: Invitae’s >1000 patient peer-reviewed study, published in the Journal Molecular Diagnostics, the official journal of the Association for Molecular Pathology, shows equivalence to established standards.
  • Sample options: blood and saliva kits provided free of charge.
  • Strong team: Invitae has more than 300 experts in genetics, bioinformatics, engineering, technology, and commercial development.

About Invitae

Invitae is a genetic information company whose mission is to bring genetic information into mainstream medical practice to improve the quality of healthcare for billions of people. Specializing in genetic diagnostics for hereditary disorders, Invitae is aggregating the world’s genetic tests into a single service with better quality, faster turnaround time, and a lower price than most single-gene tests today.

About Alnylam

Alnylam is leading the translation of RNAi as a new class of innovative medicines, with a core focus on RNAi therapeutics toward genetically defined targets for the treatment of serious, life-threatening diseases with limited treatment options for patients and their caregivers. RNAi therapeutics offer a modular and reproducible approach for development and commercialization of innovative medicines. Alnylam is sponsoring no-charge, third-party genetic testing and counseling for individuals who may carry a gene mutation known to be associated with porphyria. For more information, visit


1Bonkovsky HL et al. Acute porphyrias in the USA: features of 108 subjects from porphyrias consortium. Am J Med. 2014 Dec; 127(12):1233-41.