June 25, 2008

Global Alliance for Pharmacogenomics

By Anonymous

Leaders at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Center for Genomic Medicine in Japan announced on April 14 the signing of a letter of intent creating a Global Alliance for Pharmacogenomics. U.S. scientists joining the alliance are members of the NIH Pharmacogenetics Research Network, a consortium of research groups. Japanese scientists in the alliance represent the newly created Center for Genomic Medicine, a component of the RIKEN Yokohama Institute that conducts high-throughput analyses of human genes involved in diseases and drug responses. "By bringing together our resources, we will advance the understanding of how changes in DNA affect our responses to medicines. Thus we can begin to realize the promise of personalized medicine," said Yusuke Nakamura, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Genomic Medicine at RIKEN. "We expect this international agreement to speed scientific discovery and the translation of results into improved treatments for cancer, heart disease, and other serious conditions," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, MD. "Ultimately, physicians worldwide will be able to tailor the treatment of each patient-1 of the great frontiers of health care today."

Initial projects will focus on: (1) understanding genetic factors that iniluence the effectiveness of breast cancer treatments (aromatase inhibitors): (2) determining the optimal length of treatment for 2 drugs used to treat early-stage breast cancer (cyclophosphamide and either doxorubicin or paclitaxel); (3) discovering new genetic factors linked to serious side effects from certain pancreatic cancer drugs (gemcitabine and bevacizumab); (4) exploring how genes contribute to drug-induced longQT syndrome, an irregular heart rhythm that can cause sudden cardiac an-est; and (5) working with the International Warfarin Consortium to tailor initial doses of the anticlotting drug based on the genetic profiles of patients.

A steering committee will manage the alliance and will meet twice yearly to discuss progress, future directions, intellectual property issues, the approval of additional members, and communication with the public. Alliance members will share data and research results with the scientific community.

National Insulines of Health

Copyright Society of Nuclear Medicine Jun 2008

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