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Pharmigene Licenses IP to Mayo Clinic for Companion Dx for Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Pharmigene today said it has licensed its intellectual property to the Mayo Clinic to develop tests to detect the presence of genetic alleles that may put patients who receive certain drugs at greater risk for developing Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis.

In a statement, Pharmigene, based in Palo Alto, Calif., said that the US Food and Drug Administration has determined that individuals who have a certain human leukocyte antigen allele, HLA-B*1502, in their DNA should not be treated with carbamazepine, a drug for epilepsy, trigeminal neuralgia, and bipolar disorder, because they have a higher risk of developing Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a potentially deadly skin disease resulting from an adverse drug reaction. Toxic epidermal necrolysis is a more severe form of the disease.

Patients with the allele also should not be treated with seizure drugs phenytoin or fosphenytoin, the firm noted.

Pharmigene said that studies have indicated that patients with another allele, HLA-B*5801, are also at a higher risk for developing the disease if they are treated with allopurinol for hyperuricemia and its complications, including gout.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.