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McGill, iSAEC Partner on TB Drug Reactions

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) –Montreal's McGill University will partner with the International Serious Adverse Events Consortium (iSAEC) to enable studies of the genetic basis of adverse reactions to Tuberculosis treatment.

The iSAEC's International Drug Induced Liver Injury Consortium (IDILIC) currently is recruiting patients with serious liver injuries from drugs and McGill is serving as the coordinating center for an international randomized trial for the treatment of latent TB.

The non-profit iSAEC and McGill's Montreal Chest Institute will collaborate to support the study of potential genetic variants that are involved in liver injuries caused by TB treatments. A select group of patients that are undergoing TB therapy with the drugs isoniazid and rifampin experience liver injuries, and iSAEC said that early research results suggest that these serious reactions could be rooted in genetic variants.

The iSAEC is funded by a group of life sciences and pharmaceutical companies and includes regulatory and academic partners, including the US Food and Drug Administration, and it aims to identify and confirm genetic markers that can help predict which patients are at risk for drug-related serious adverse events.

"Our genetic research to date points to a strong role of the immune system in DILI," iSAEC Chairman Arthur Holden said in a statement. "To better understand the full genetic effects contributing to these diseases, we need to develop larger and more diverse collections of subjects, in conjunction with international researchers who share our strong interest and have experience with DILI reactions."

"Drug induced liver injury is one of the most important problems of current treatment of latent and active TB," added Dick Menzies, director of the Respiratory Division at the McGill University Health Centre. "Better understanding of this problem has the potential to dramatically enhance the safety and acceptability of TB treatment, which affect almost one -third of the entire global population."

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