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Baylor College to Launch New PGx Chip in 2009

COLUMBUS, OH – Baylor College of Medicine is planning to launch a new pharmacogenomics testing service based on Illumina’s BeadArray platform in January, according to a Baylor official.
The service will make use of the so-called Baylor Chip, which is capable of detecting variations in 32 genes, and can be used in pharmacogenomic testing to gauge risk associations in various diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, and type 2 diabetes, according to David Tweardy, interim chair of the Baylor College Department of Medicine.
Tweardy made his comments at Ohio State University’s Personalized Health Care National Conference, held here this week.
The chip can also be used to conduct HLA-B*5701 testing, which reduces the risk of hypersensitivity reactions in patients taking the HIV drug abacavir, Tweardy said.
Clinical validation of the chip is currently ongoing. “So far, it has been able to detect abnormalities 100 percent of the time,” he noted.
Baylor is planning to launch PGx testing on the chip in January 2009 at its women’s health clinic, with a price tag ranging between $500 and $1,000 per test.
“The price point will be important since initially women will be paying out of pocket for this,” Tweardy said. He added that the chip will be useful in facilitating new research and educational programs at Baylor.
No further details were provided on the chip.

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