German pharmacogenomics company EPIDAUROS Biotechnologie has acquired a non-exclusive licence for the diagnostic use of one of the most important genetic variants of the cytochrome P450 2D6 gene.
The license has been granted by the UK's LGC, an independent analytical laboratory. The variant, named CYP2D6*4 is associated with a disturbance in the metabolism of drugs, according to EPIDAUROS' chief executive Dr Manfred Zoltobrocki.
The cytochrome P450 2D6 gene encodes a specific liver enzyme that is involved in the metabolism of some commonly-used medicines, including analgesics and antidepressants. Patients with the 2D6*4 mutation "cannot be treated successfully with these medications or they exhibit adverse reactions when they take these drugs," said Zoltobrocki.
EPIDAUROS intends to use the variant in a genotyping test to identify poor metabolisers, that could be used both to help in treatment selection and as a tool to monitor and interpret the results of clinical trials.