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Celera and Medco Partner on Statin Drug PGx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Celera and Medco Health Solutions will collaborate to study whether patients who take a test for a specific gene variant are more likely to adhere to their treatment regimens for lipid-lowering statins.

Celera said today that it will work with Medco to conduct a prospective, randomized, multi-center study to find out if testing for the KIF6 variant can be a predictor for patient adherence.

The company said that current studies suggest that only 50 to 60 percent of patients who receive prescriptions for lipid-lowering drugs are still taking the medication after six months, and that only 30 to 40 percent are on the medication after two years.

Medco plans to test roughly 650 of its members for KIF6 and will compare adherence to an equally-sized control group with an unknown KIF6 status. Celera’s subsidiary Berkeley HeartLab will conduct the testing, which is set to start this fall. Medco will then monitor patient adherence over an 18-month period.

"We believe this research collaboration presents an opportunity to demonstrate an important benefit of genetic testing as we hope to show that carriers of the KIF6 variant are more likely to adhere with their physician-prescribed statin treatment," Celera’s CEO, Kathy Ordoñez, said in a statement.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.