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Clinical Data, Applied Biosystems

Clinical Data announced this week that its PGxHealth division has launched a new test, PGxPredict: Clozapine.
The new pharmacogenetic test is designed to help physicians determine whether they should prescribe the schizophrenia drug clozapine to patients. According to Clinical Data, PGxPredict for clozapine is the first of several tests the company is planning to release this year.
The PGxPredict: Clozapine test will provide information on whether a patient is at higher or lower risk of developing clozapine-induced agranulocytosis (CIA) compared to the untested population. The test places patients into the higher-risk or lower-risk category by analyzing patients’ blood samples and genotyping two SNPs in the HLADQB1 gene, which has shown to be associated with CIA in independent studies.
Studies have shown that higher-risk patients have a 2.5 relative risk of developing CIA in comparison to general clozapine-treated patients, while lower-risk patients have a 0.5 relative risk.
“The test is intended to be used as an adjunct to existing clinical information to aid in determining the risk of developing CIA and in determining the risk-benefit ratio of treatment with clozapine,” the company said. 

Applied Biosystems announced this week the launch of a new instrument for conducting affordable genetic and genomic analysis using real-time PCR technology, called the StepOne Real-Time PCR System.
The StepOne System will be available for purchase beginning in early February, the company said.
According to Applied Biosystems, the new system was “developed in response to the growing market of researchers interested in lower throughput applications of real-time PCR.” 
Due to budget considerations, academic researchers often have to share a real-time PCR instrument with multiple labs, limiting access to the instrument, the company noted in a release.
With this product, “scientists who previously did not have access to real-time PCR technology will be able to generate more quantitative data from smaller samples and foster greater reproducibility of results compared to other PCR methods.”  
The company also noted that the StepOne system can be connected to a local area network to facilitate larger research collaborations, by sharing data across different laboratories.   

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