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Qiagen, GCI Team in Three-legged Race


Genomics Collaborative and Qiagen Genomics say they’re working together on a large-scale genotype study with the hope that it might enable drug companies to “predict individual patient response with regards to drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion outcomes,” says William Hirschman, vice president of business development for GCI.

Qiagen will use its genotyping technology to study GCI’s profile database in what is believed to be the most extensive survey of its kind. “We have a database that contains detailed clinical information matched to DNA samples, serum samples, and tissue samples in over 75,000 profiles,” says Michael Pellini, president and CEO of GCI. The idea is to compare patients with favorable drug responses to those with negative responses across wide-ranging geographic and ethnic populations.

“We’ll ultimately look at a number of different classes of medications,” Pellini says. Initial studies are expected to take just a few months, and continued exploration will be based on the early results. Further details were not released.

Pellini says the collaboration helps everyone. “We believe we can shorten the timeline significantly by collaborating,” he says, adding that this should make both companies more competitive and strengthen public image of the industry.

— Meredith Salisbury

The Scan

Looking for Omicron

NPR reports that SARS-CoV-2 testing in the US has gotten better but also that some experts say more needs to be done to better track the Omicron variant.

Holmes Alleges Abuse

The Associated Press reports that Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes has testified at her wire fraud trial that her business and romantic partner abused her.

Bit More Diverse, But More to Do

While Black and Hispanic patients are more likely to participate in cancer clinical trials than previously, they are still underrepresented, according to US News & World Report.

PNAS Papers on Yeast Gene Silencing, Zika Virus Inhibition, Immunoglobulin Hypermutation

In PNAS this week: gene silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, possible neuroprotective role for SHFL in a mouse model of Zika virus infection, and more.