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Medco Research Institute announced this week that it is sponsoring a study to determine the optimal antiplatelet treatment for patients who are also using a proton pump inhibitor for the treatment of heartburn. The study will involve genetic testing to establish which patients can respond to Plavix.

Under the deal, Bristol-Myers Squibb will use siRNAs formulated with Tekmira's stable nucleic acid-lipid particle-based delivery technology to "validate the function of certain cellular targets."

Although Qiagen is prioritizing Rx/Dx partnerships with pharma, that doesn't mean it won't look into bringing tests to market with payors or on its own.

After missing the first-to-market opportunities with KRAS, both Merck KGaA and Amgen are strategically looking into additional gene markers, with the likely aim of being able to launch companion tests to their drugs that are more sensitive and accurate than the competition.

For Dx shops developing pharmacogenomic tests without big pharma's help, Medco says it can offer a better value proposition when it comes to driving adoption and reimbursement for their tests.

The boxed warning for Plavix's label alerts doctors that genetic tests are available to establish patients' CYP2C19 status. However, the FDA leaves it up to physicians to decide whether to wait for genetic testing results or put patients on an alternative treatment.

The study showed that alterations in the ABCB1 gene had no link to increased bleeding in patients treated with either Plavix or its competitor Effient, though patients treated with Plavix who were homozygous for a particular allele had an increased risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack, or stroke.

Research presented at the American College of Cardiology scientific session in Atlanta today suggests individuals who receive genetic testing early in their warfarin treatment are up to 31 percent less likely to be hospitalized than those who don't.

When Vectibix received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration in 2006, "Amgen already knew the response rate was low," according to an Amgen official. The company began collecting patient tissue samples from mid-2005 to early 2007, knowing it would "need those samples for a biomarker analysis."

"DxS is seeking to avoid its exclusive obligation with Roche because it no longer finds it advantageous to benefit from the Roche distribution network," but a termination of the agreement would cause "irreparable" harm, Roche stated in a recently filed complaint.

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Public health experts call for a transparent COVID-19 vaccine approval process in a letter; the Food and Drug Administration commissioner assures science-based approval.

The Verge reports that new gene-naming guidelines aim in part to avoid Excel-related name change confusion.

In Nature this week: tuatara genome sequence aids in understanding amniote evolution, and more.

According to the Guardian, UK virologists say in a letter to officials that their expertise has been pushed aside in COVID-19 response plans.