NEW YORK, July 30-Variagenics has launched a pharmacogenomic research collaboration with researchers at Brigham & Women's Hospital, the company said today.
Variagenics will use its genotyping and haplotyping technology to explore the genetic basis of patient response to the cholesterol-lowering drug pravastatin. The company will be working with Paul Ridker, director of the hospital's Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention.
In the agreement, Variagenics retains an option to license intellectual property from this research that may be useful in developing diagnostic tests for cardiovascular disease.
Ridker is principal investigator of the PRINCE study, a randomized placebo-controlled evaluation of pravastatin in both healthy patients and patients with cardiovascular disease. Ridker found that the drug significantly reduced levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of arterial inflammation), suggesting that statins have anti-inflammatory as well as lipid-lowering effects.
Variagenics will perform pharmacogenomic analysis of these subjects in order to find correlations between genetic variations and the magnitude of patient inflammatory response and cholesterol decrease.
Brigham & Women's Hospital, based in Boston, is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.