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Wellcome Trust, Takeda, Novartis, Daiichi Sankyo Join SAE Consortium

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Novartis, Takeda, The Wellcome Trust, and Daiichi Sankyo have all joined an organized effort to develop and identify genetic markers that could be used to predict which patients may be at risk for experiencing dangerous adverse reactions to specific drugs.
The International Serious Adverse Events Consortium (SAEC), a non-profit group that initially launched a year ago, is a partnership between drug companies, the US Food and Drug Administration, and research institutes.
As GenomeWeb Daily News reported at that time, a number of drug companies each invested $500,000 initially to begin the effort, which was kicked off by SAEC Chairman and CEO Arthur Holden.
These new pharmaceutical members also will provide funding and scientific support, according to the SAEC. In addition, The Wellcome Trust also will provide financial backing and assistance in executing genomic studies.
If the SAEC can identify and validate DNA variants that are associated with serious adverse events, the group “hopes to reduce the significant patient and economic costs caused by drug-related SAEs,” the group said in a statement.
Holden said in a statement that the “involvement of companies from around the world, like our new members, is a critically important development to help us meet our research goals.”
The SAEC’s initial programs are focused on discovering markers associated with drug-related liver toxicity and with Stevens Johnson Syndrome, which is a rare but serious skin condition that has been associated with more than 200 different types of medications.
“The work of the SAEC promises to be important in moving forward the study of the molecular basis of drug induced serious adverse events, and in providing leadership in this area,” said Alan Schafer, who is The Wellcome Trust’s head of molecular and physiologics sciences.
In addition to a number of pharmaceutical companies, other contributing groups include Newcastle University, the academic consortium DILIGEN, EUDRAGENE, and Columbia University, which is hosting the SAEC’s data analysis and coordinating center.

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