Silicon Biosystems Receives 2013 New Product Innovation Award

Chip 300Silicon Biosystems, whose DEPArray™ is the heart of PGXL’s unique single-cell separation capability, has received the 2013 New Product Innovation Award for Global Single Cell Analysis Platform from Frost & Sullivan. This award recognizes a company that has created an innovative product with superior value-added features and benefits when benchmarked against competitors. The Silicon Biosystems’ DEPArray™ System is the only commercial technology that can isolate single cells with 100% purity, which is necessary to perform accurate genomic analysis of isolated cells. The award summary noted that Silicon Biosystems DEPArray™ and Ampli1™ WGA technologies “…provide a breakthrough within the single cell genetics space and play an important role in addressing the unmet needs of the medical research community.”

PGXL recently added the Silicon Biosystems’ DEPArray™ technology to their upcoming lab. With these new capabilities, PGXL will bring an innovative and more efficient solution for physicians treating cancer patients.

Click here for the Silicon Biosystems press release.

by Emily Stines

2014: The Year of Personalized Medicine

Investment blog Motley Fool recently ran an entry entitled, “2014: The Year of Personalized Medicine” describing innovations in personalized medicine, specifically next generation sequencing for cancer patients. Laboratories, including PGXL, are investing in technology that will will personalize the treatment of cancer

The development will revolutionize the way we think about drug development, and suggests that innovation in the industry is still chugging along. High throughput gene sequencing could bring population studies of risk factors for cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and more to the forefront of research.

PGXL’s NGS is installed and going through validation. Stay tuned…

by Emily Stines

Patients Prefer Help Interpreting Genetic Tests

Test Result 200While the FDA and private companies debate the value of direct-to-consumer genetic tests, a joint Syracuse/Yale University study shows consumers need and want interpretive help with the test results. The survey found 65% of patients polled would seek professional help interpreting genetic information, no matter what its source.

“Genetic risk percentages require interpretation and context,” said (study co-author Rene) Almeling. Both the American Medical Association and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics encourage people to undergo genetic testing under the guidance of a qualified health care professional. This allows patients to discuss the risks and benefits of genetic testing, and test results can be interpreted in the context of the individual’s other health factors, such as family history and environment

Basic information about the study here.

by Tom_Johnson

Complexity and Genetic Diagnosis

Came across this quote from Steve Pinker while doing some reading:

“Assessing the risks from genomic data is not like using pregnancy test kit with its bright blue line. It’s more like writing a term paper on a topic with a huge and chaotic research literature. You are whipsawed by contradictory studies with different sample sizes, ages, sexes, ethnicities, selection criteria, and levels of statistical significance.”

by Tom_Johnson

TEDx: Pharmacogenetics and Opioids

Good overview of pharmacogenetics by Dr. Russ Altman at TEDxStanford, here. Based on Tylenol 3 and CYP2D6, Dr. Altman walks through the mechanics and potential significance of pharmacogenetics (which he calls “a terrible word.”)

by Tom_Johnson

Studies Show Warfarin Dosing by Genotype is Superior Both Initially and Over Time

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published an article, “A Randomized Trial of Genotype-Guided Dosing of Warfarin,” comparing the effect of genotype-guided dosing with that of standard dosing on anticoagulation control in patients starting warfarin therapy. A total of 455 patients was used in the trial where it was concluded that genotype-based dosing at the initiation of warfarin therapy increased the time in the therapeutic range and reduced the incidence of excessive anticoagulation, the time required to reach a therapeutic INR, the time required to reach a stable dose, and the number of adjustments in the dose of warfarin.

This also confirms an article by PGXL’s Dr. Mark Borgman, “Prospective Pilot Trial of PerMIT Versus Standard Anticoagulation Service Management of Patients Initiating Oral Anticoagulation,” The trial studies 26 subjects to compare genotype-based warfarin initiation and maintenance dosing with routine anticoagulation service management. The concluding data strengthened the case for prospective utilization of genotype information for warfarin therapy management. With more trials and findings resulting in genotype-testing benefits, clinical outcomes and patient benefits should hopefully improve in the future.

by Emily Stines