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Feb 17, 2012

Iverson, Vanderbilt Forge Pact for Breast Cancer Diagnostics

  • Iverson Genetic Diagnostics and Vanderbilt University are partnering to develop breast cancer risk tests. According to the agreement, Iverson received global, exclusive commercialization rights for molecular diagnostics for use in women considering hormone replacement therapy during menopause.

    Research suggests that estrogen metabolites represent one of several determinants of the risk of breast cancer. Mutations in the genes that code for the synthesis of enzymes that regulate pathways associated with metabolism of estrogen have been associated with an increased risk of cancer.

    “The importance of finding gene variants that affect the metabolism of drugs and hormones, hence causing disease, is incredibly important for personalized medicine,” notes Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder of the Institute for Systems Biology and a member of Iverson Genetic Diagnostics’ board. “This venture between Iverson and Vanderbilt is a wonderful example of a diagnostic test that could significantly improve the health of relevant patients.”

    Dean Sproles, CEO of Iverson, adds, “We are very pleased to collaborate with Vanderbilt University on this product and look forward to including the new e-Metab GenoSTAT™ test in the Women’s Health segment of Iverson’s Physician’s Logic™ portfolio later this year.” Physician’s Logic is a healthcare information resource developed to deploy test results to providers and integrate with various electronic medical record systems in a HIPAA-compliant environment.

    Sproles also says, “We are considering additional opportunities to partner with Vanderbilt University in the areas of women’s health and autoimmunity.”

    Iverson currently provides four tests. Clopidogrel GenoSTAT test determines an individual's ability to activate the drug copidogrel (Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s antiplatelet drug Plavix). It identifies the genetic (CYP2C19) cause of an individual's resistance and detects mutation of the P450-2C19 genotypes (*2, *3, *4, *5, *6, *7 ,*8, & *17). Warfarin GenoSTAT helps predict the optimal dose for warfarin, an anticoagulant, as patients with some genetic variants are more likely to need lower doses of warfarin, take a longer time to reach target INR on starting therapy, and may have an increased risk of bleeding complications.

    Its Cystic Fibrosis Carrier Screen assesses a person’s risk of passing this disease to his/her children. A buccal swab DNA collection or blood draw is tested for the 23 most common mutations that cause cystic fibrosis. Test results are usually available within 48 to 72 hours. Finally, Iverson’s MTHFR Panel detects levels of the 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) enzyme. Cardiovascular disease, stroke, venous thromboembolism, cancers (colon, breast, and cervical), neural tube defects, miscarriage, and depression have all been suggested to result from low levels of 5-MTHF due to a decrease in MTHFR enzyme activity.


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