"This is being touted as the beginning of personalized medicine," Dr. Stephen C. Peiper, chair of the MCG Department of Pathology says of the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration-cleared pharmacogenetics test that looks at how an individual metabolizes a drug.
"We are talking about a chip-based genetic test that looks at differences between individuals," Dr. Peiper says of the AmpliChip CYP450 Test, developed by Roche Diagnostics, which analyzes variations of the two major genes involved in metabolizing about 25 percent of all drugs.
The test initially will be used to optimize doses of commonly used psychiatric drugs, a category of drugs with a lot of clinical experience with the test.
MCG's molecular diagnostic lab is a Roche Diagnostics' Molecular Center of Excellence and the first academic center in the country to acquire this technology so the university is high on the list for participating in clinical trials to expand its use to other categories of drugs and exploring new diagnostic applications.
"We are very interested in utilizing this technology to help patients get the best treatment and minimize side effects," Dr. Peiper says. "There is a second test now that has FDA clearance to look at metabolism of a common drug used in chemotherapy and to pick the best dose," says the Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Clinician and Scientist. MCG also is interested in a future application that could change the way leukemia and lymphoma are diagnosed and treated. "We also want to be involved in multi-institutional studies to further define standards that will expand the use of this type of technology."
CYP450 is a major subset of metabolizing genes, and the Roche test looks for variations of two of those genes, CYP2D6 and CYP2C19, says Dr. Zixuan (Zoe) Wang,
Contact: Toni Baker
Medical College of Georgia