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Plavix Genetic Test Developed

Filed April 4th, 2012 Laurie

Researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute have developed a genetic test known as the Spartan RX CYP2C19, consisting of a simple cheek swab that can be performed by nurses at the patient’s bedside. The test allows doctors to quickly identify patients of a genetic variant called CYP2C19*2. Patients with CYP2C19*2 who have cardiac stents have a higher risk of having a negative reaction to the drug Plavix, which is the standard anti-platelet therapy.

The study proves that drug treatment therapy made possible by the genetic test tailored to individual patients’ needs protects those with the at-risk variant from further adverse events. Thirty percent of patients in the study who were treated with the standard Plavix did not receive the same protection.

Two-hundred patients were enrolled in the Rapid Gene study. Patients were treated with cardiac stents and suffered from acute coronary syndrome or stabile angina. Nurses who performed the tests received thirty minutes of training but underwent no laboratory testing.

“For the first time in medicine, nurses were able to perform DNA testing at the patient’s bedside. This is a significant step towards the vision of personalized medicine,” said Dr. Derek So, Interventional Cardiologist at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI), and principal investigator of the RAPID GENE study.

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