The gene variant has been linked to cardiovascular risk and benefit with statin therapy.

Celera and Medco Health Solutions will work together to evaluate whether testing for a gene variant called KIF6 increases patient adherence with statin therapy. The companies will conduct a prospective, randomized, open-label, multicenter study.

The KIF6 gene encodes kinesin-like protein 6 (KIF6). Published research studies have shown an association between KIF6 and cardiovascular risk and statin benefit.

Medco expects to test approximately 650 members for their KIF6 status and compare adherence with statin therapy to an equally sized control group whose KIF6 status is not known. Samples will be collected by using a cheek swab.

Testing will be performed by Berkeley HeartLab, a Celera subsidiary. The study is expected to begin this fall, and patients’ statin adherence is expected to be monitored by Medco’s current pharmacy benefit methods over the course of 18 months.

All patients included in the study will be under the care of a physician who has already prescribed them a statin. The primary endpoint of this study is change in adherence to statin therapy in patients tested for KIF6 status compared to statin-treated patients who do not undergo KIF6 testing.

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