Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Automation & Microfluidics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

On-the-spot DNA Analysis to Test Tolerance to Prescription Drugs Gets Closer

Published: Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Bookmark and Share
A handheld device to predict whether patients will respond adversely to medication is one step closer to the market.

Imperial College London and its spinout company DNA Electronics have developed a prototype healthcare device that assesses whether patients are genetically predisposed to suffering adverse reactions to prescription drugs. They are now carrying out trials to test its effectiveness, thanks to a new partnership with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

Each year, the NHS spends £460 million to treat 250,000 patients who are admitted to hospital suffering adverse reactions to prescribed medication. These reactions can vary in severity, from dizziness and nausea to heart palpitations or unconsciousness.

A test to identify people likely to react badly to prescribed medication such as antidepressants or drugs to lower cholesterol could enable doctors to tailor dosages and drugs to the individual needs of each patient.

The device undergoing trials is the Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Doctor, or SNP Dr (pronounced 'snip doctor'). It is a portable technology that gives accurate spot test results for specific DNA sequences that indicate how we are likely to respond to certain drugs.

The SNP Dr works by analyzing genetic variations found in DNA called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs are the parts of human DNA that make us all respond differently to disease, bacteria, viruses, toxins or medication.

In particular, researchers are exploring how the SNP Dr might detect genetic sequences linked with metabolism. A slow metabolism can make drugs stay in the body longer, causing adverse side effects, while a fast metabolism can process medication quickly for it to have any effect.

The SNP Dr works by analyzing the DNA in saliva or cheek swab samples, which are placed in a cartridge and exposed to the silicon chip sensors inside the device. A copy of the fast or slow metabolic SNPs is contained in the chip. If they detect a match, a message is displayed on the SNP Dr's console. The doctor can then assess their patient in the GP surgery, without a lengthy and costly laboratory analysis, and prescribe dosages and treatments accordingly.

Professor Chris Toumazou FRS, principal investigator at Imperial, says: "Nothing can replace the expert advice your GP gives you. However, the SNP Dr could provide another layer in the treatment process that could help GPs to personalize treatments according to the genetic requirements of each patient."

Dr Leila Shepherd, Chief Technology Officer of DNA Electronics adds that the introduction of the SNP Dr into the GP surgery could also pave the way for new types of drugs to reach patients in the future.

She says: "At the moment, some cancer fighting drugs are deemed uneconomical because they only work for a certain subset of patients. If doctors had a method of screening patients to see whether these drugs work, then suddenly these therapies would be more cost effective to use."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

New Clues to How Bacteria Evade Antibiotics
Scientists have made an important advance in understanding how a subset of bacterial cells escape being killed by many antibiotics.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Digital 'Plaster' for Monitoring Vital Signs Undergoes First Clinical Trials
ICL researchers are trying out a wireless digital ‘plaster’ that can monitor vital signs continuously and remotely in patients and healthy volunteers.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Scientists Close in on Genes Responsible for Parkinson’s Disease
Findings could help doctors predict the likelihood of the disease developing, and provide targets for new treatments.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Scientific News
Microdroplet Reactors Mimic Living Systems
Researchers use microdroplets to study non-equilibrium reactions like those in living organisms.
Toxicity Testing With Cultured Liver Cells
Microreactor replaces animal testing.
Study Validates Analysis of Copy Number Variation in Miniaturized Reaction Volumes
Data shows that accurate and reproducible CNV results can be produced with IntelliQube using the Array Tape® consumable.
Spotlight on Acoustic Liquid Handling
Journal of Laboratory Automation special issue highlights how acoustic liquid handling enables breakthrough innovations.
Organs on Chips
Combining 3D cell culture with microfluidics, organs-on-chips could revolutionize toxicology testing for pharmaceuticals, foods, cosmetics, pesticides, and industrial chemicals.
Finding the Needle in a Microbial Haystack
After developing a novel investigational technology called PathoChip that can rapidly identify elusive microorganisms, a team of Penn Medicine researchers recently succeeded for the first time in identifying a pathogen in a patient sample, demonstrating the proof of principle that this technology can be used to identify pathogens in human disease.
Organ-on-a-Chip
In a step toward personalized drug testing, researchers coax human stem cells to form complex tissues.
Diagnosing Cancer from a Single Drop of Blood
What if a physician could effectively diagnose cancer from one drop of a patient’s blood?
Study Reveals Shared Behavior of Microbes And Electrons
Bacteria streaming through a lattice behave like electrons in a magnetic material.
Study Reveals Shared Behavior of Microbes and Electrons
Bacteria streaming through a lattice behave like electrons in a magnetic material.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!