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ISAEC Launches Consortium Focused on Genetics Research into Drug-induced Renal Injury

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The International Serious Adverse Events Consortium today said that it will collaborate with scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy on research into the genetics behind drug-induced renal injury.

The collaboration, which forms the International Drug Induced Renal Injury Consortium (DIRECT), marks iSAEC's foray into the genetics of drug-induced renal injury. It said that the partners will focus on key causal drugs and diverse population groups that experience this adverse drug reaction.

The consortium will receive support from the O'Brien Center for Acute Kidney Injury Research, a collaborative effort of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and UCSD. The O'Brien Center also is home to the International Acute Kidney Injury Registry.

DIRECT intends to work with a network of more than 20 clinical researcher centers around the world in recruiting patients for its research.

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

"Our ultimate aim is to develop simple genetic tests so that drug therapy can be personalized and those at risk of these kidney reactions can be prescribed medications safely," Ravindra Mehta, a co-director of DIRECT, added. "International cooperation and scale are vital to enable us to understand these relatively frequent, serious, adverse reactions to certain prescription medicines causing [acute kidney injury]."

Mehta is a professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Nephrology and associate chair for clinical research in the Department of Medicine, as well as principal investigator for the UCSD O'Brien Center. Linda Awdishu, an assistant clinical professor of Pharmacy, is the other co-director.

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