Nanogen Gains Access to Schizophrenia Markers
News Jul 13, 2007
Nanogen, Inc. has announced that it has entered into an agreement whereby the company acquired rights to genetic markers related to schizophrenia and responses to antipsychotic therapies.
Nanogen plans to utilize the markers to create diagnostic tests for schizophrenia and related conditions. Some of these markers may also help predict adverse drug reactions and therefore guide therapeutic decision-making.
“Schizophrenia affects approximately one percent of the U.S. population, with an estimated cost to the health care system of $63 billion annually,” said David Ludvigson, Nanogen’s president and chief operating officer.
“Due to its complexity - schizophrenia, like many mental disorders, is believed to be caused by mutations in multiple genes - development of effective diagnostics and treatments is likely to require multiplexed analytic methods capable of examining multiple genes simultaneously,” Ludvigson continued.
Nanogen’s NanoChip® multiplexing platform was recently submitted for FDA 510(K) clearance, along with the company’s cystic fibrosis carrier screening test.
The genetic component of schizophrenia is thought to account for 65-80% of the disease risk. The markers acquired by Nanogen are in genes that have been linked to schizophrenia in a number of clinical studies.
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.