A Medical Device Daily

LGC (Teddington, UK), an independent analytical laboratory, and Gentris (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina), a global provider of applied clinical pharmacogenomic services and diagnostic product solutions, reported that the companies have entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement.

Gentris obtains rights to make, use and sell diagnostic products and services which include testing for the CYP2D6*4 polymorphism in the U.S. LGC is the exclusive licensor of this gene variation on behalf of the University of Dundee (Dundee, Scotland) and Cancer Research UK.

Patients with the *4 variant of the CYP2D6 gene are known to be poor metabolizers of about 20% of commonly prescribed medications including painkillers, anti-depressants, analgesics and cardiovascular drugs.

The commercialization and adoption of CYP2D6 genetic testing services and diagnostic products is expected to contribute to reducing adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in this population and improving the quality and efficacy of drugs and ultimately patient care. ADRs account for 106,000 deaths and 2.2 million hospitalizations a year in the U.S., making them the fourth-leading cause of death and fifth-leading cause of illness.

The announcement coincides with the recent release of Gentris' human genomic DNA reference controls for the CYP2D6 gene, which are currently available for research use. No other commercial source of reference controls for the CYP2D6 gene is presently on the market, Gentris said.

In other agreements news, Nonin Medical (Minneapolis) reported that it has joined an alliance of technology, healthcare and fitness companies that will set guidelines aimed at enabling a diverse array of personal health and fitness technologies to interconnect and communicate health information.

Ultimately, guidelines established by the Continua Health Alliance are expected to enable health and fitness products to relay data from devices, such as weight scales and monitors that track vital signs, to individuals and their caregivers. The availability of up-to-the-minute information will enable them to better manage their health conditions.

Interoperability among devices also promises to help improve quality of care and reduce healthcare costs.

In addition to Nonin Medical, founding members of the Continua Health Alliance include BodyMedia, Cisco Systems, GE Healthcare, IBM, Intel, Kaiser Permanente, Medtronic, Motorola, Omron Healthcare, Panasonic (Matsushita Electric), Partners HealthCare, Polar Electro, Royal Philips Electronics, RMD Networks, Samsung Electronics, Sharp, The Tunstall Group, Welch Allyn and Zensys.

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