NEW YORK, April 24-Researchers from Genaissance Pharmaceuticals have found that haplotypes are better than SNPs for predicting patient response to cholesterol-lowering drugs.
The finding is to be presented today at the American Heart Association Asia Pacific Scientific Forum.
In the study, researchers from Genaissance, Ruprecht Karls University, and Albert Ludwigs University identified 98 patients with high cholesterol. After initiating statin treatment, the researchers tracked changes in blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They also examined individual variations in the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) gene, which is thought to be involved in the balance between high- and low-density cholesterol levels, and tracked the activity of this gene during therapy.
The team found that while individual SNPS had little impact on gene expression or on drug efficacy, notable differences could be distinguished between patients with different haplotypes. For example, patients with two copies of one CETP haplotype showed a threefold increase in high-density cholesterol.
The effort is part of a larger Genaissance research project that is attempting to correlate patient genetic variations with the biological response to statin therapy. Genaissance hopes to develop markers that can guide clinicians in their drug-prescribing choices.