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Duke to Expand Aspirin PGx Study to Singapore

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Duke University said this week that it is expanding an ongoing aspirin pharmacogenomics study to Singapore in an effort to broaden the study population for the project.

The study, which aims to identify individuals who are most likely to suffer dangerous blood clots despite regular aspirin therapy, is a joint venture of the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy and the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School.

While aspirin is known to block platelet function and prevent blood clots in some patients, it doesn't work for everyone. In fact, around one-fifth of patients prescribed aspirin will still go on to have a heart attack or stroke, according to Deepak Voora, a Duke cardiologist and member of the IGSP.

Voora and colleagues have spent the last several years recruiting healthy volunteers and those with diabetes or coronary artery disease in a project designed to identify the genetic underpinnings of aspirin response.

In a study published in the American Heart Journal in July, the team examined the association of SNPs that had previously been associated with aspirin resistance with clinical events during follow-up while using aspirin in 3,449 patients with CAD.

"Despite adequate statistical power, we found no evidence for significantly increased risk for clinical events associated with any of the genetic variants previously associated with aspirin resistance in vitro," they concluded. "Our results suggest that use of these variants to guide more aggressive antiplatelet therapy is not justified."

The Duke team is now looking at whether its findings — based on a study population of primarily European ancestry — will also apply to those of other ethnicities.

The new Singapore collaboration will begin enrolling patients in early 2012.

Voora said that he and his colleagues hope to ultimately expand the study to other populations as well.

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