Celera says that it will publish three papers in the January 29 edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology detailing how a variant of the gene encoding kinesin-like protein 6 (KIF6) is associated with up to a 55% increased risk of primary and recurrent coronary heart disease (CHD) events.
Berkeley HeartLab, which was recently acquired by Celera, is expected to offer a laboratory-developed test for the KIF6 gene variant in the coming months.
Celera’s studies included more than 30,000 individuals, with about 60% carrying this risk variant. The research showed that the excess risk associated with the KIF6 variant was virtually eliminated by Bristol Myer’s Squibb’s Pravachol® (pravastatin), according to Celera. Also, high-doses of Pfizer’s Lipitor® (atorvastatin) reduced risk in carriers of the KIF6 risk variant more effectively than moderate-dose pravastatin in acute coronary syndrome patients, the company adds.
The increased risk of clinical events observed in KIF6 carriers and its reduction by statin therapy was independent of other well-known CHD risk factors including smoking, hypertension, cholesterol level, age, and sex, Celera reports.
One paper demonstrates that a gene variant in the KIF6 gene predicts increased risk for recurrent CHD events (the CARE study) and primary CHD events (the WOSCOPS study). This risk was virtually alleviated by pravastatin in those carrying the gene variant.
In the second paper, a genetic sub-study of PROVE IT--TIMI 22 (pravastatin or atorvastatin evaluation and infection therapy: thrombolysis in myocardial infarction 22) showed that high-dose atorvastatin was more effective at reducing the risk of CHD events in carriers than in noncarriers. This differential response to treatment occurred despite similar reduction of lipid levels in both. These results show that the clinical benefit has a statin class effect rather than a specific drug effect since the two different statins tested had different characteristics, one hydrophilic and the other lipophilic, Celera explains.
The third paper reports that KIF6 was also associated with CHD events in the Women’s Health Study, a large prospective study of women.