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Genomas Gets $1.3M SBIR Grant to Develop Pharmacogenetic Test for Statins

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genomas has been awarded a two-year, $1.3 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop a test system directed at statin response.

The grant, from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, will be used by the firm to further develop its SINM PhyzioType System to help physicians make better decisions about prescribing statins to patients with high cholesterol. Specifically, Genomas will build out its SINM PhyzioType System, which consists of four tests that predict LDL lowering and HDL raising capabilities, myalgia, and creatine kinase activity in response to statins.

"The goal is to enable clinicians to deploy a genetic decision support system to manage statins, prescribe these drugs on a DNA-guided, personalized basis, and effectively lower the risk of cardiovascular disease for each patient," the company said in a statement.

According to Genomas, statins are the most prescribed drugs in the world, and in the US 20 million Americans, half of the total population with high cholesterol, are on statin therapies. A major side effect of statins is neuro-myopathy, which is manifested as muscle aches and weakness. Neuro-myopathy is serious enough in about 10 percent to 20 percent of patients on statins that they are disabled by it and require changes in their treatment. Only half of patients remain on statins after starting use of them.

"Through Phase II Renewal funding, Genomas will be able to serve confirmatory proof that the PhyzioType product is a reliable, reproducible, and cost-effective product enabling physicians to optimize treatment strategies in lipid disorders," Gualberto Ruaño, president of Genomas and director of genetics research at Hartford Hospital, said.

Genomas has received a total of $6.1 million in SBIR funding from the National Institutes of Health for PhyzioType product development, the company added.

Based in Hartford, Conn., Genomas develops pharmacogenetic tests. Its PhyzioType Systems comprise an ensemble of inherited DNA polymorphisms genotyped by arrays and interpreted by a bioclinical algorithm.

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