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Medical Microchips

DNA Chip Could Helps Docs Pick Best Drug for Patient

20 years, 10 months ago

13211  0
Posted on Apr 20, 2003, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Doctors will soon be able to discover what drugs will be the most effective for their patients thanks to a DNA chip being developed by pharmaceutical company Roche. The chip is designed to analyse drugs used to treat conditions such as heart disease and psychiatric disorders and identify which will work best for an individual, thus removing the need for a patient to try a number of drugs before finding the right one for them.

Doctors will soon be able to discover what drugs will be the most effective for their patients thanks to a DNA chip being developed by pharmaceutical company Roche. The chip is designed to analyse drugs used to treat conditions such as heart disease and psychiatric disorders and identify which will work best for an individual, thus removing the need for a patient to try a number of drugs before finding the right one for them. To carry out the test blood cells, or cells from the inside of the mouth are obtained from the patient and scientists then amplify the area of DNA containing genes that control how drugs are metabolised and used by the body. The Roche test analyses a drug-metabolising enzyme known as CYP2D6. Roughly 7% of Caucasians are known to lack CYP2D6, which means that they are poor metabolisers of drugs, meanwhile another 2% to 4% have poorly-functioning or over-functioning drug-metabolising enzymes which also causes problems. As well as helping doctors choose the best drugs for their patients the chip also determines how rapidly a patient will metabolise drugs. This will enable physicians to adjust dosages in order to reduce the potential of adverse reactions and to maximize their efficiency. The test will be available in the US from May. Roche are currently seeking European approval for the chip.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.bbc.co.uk on the 14th April 2003

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