NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that it has signed agreements with the University of Rochester and the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, under which Genaissance will obtain access to clinical expertise, clinical research samples and associated data, from which identities have been removed, and intellectual property (disease-associated mutations) for use in developing and launching tests for cardiac conditions. The first test, which Genaissance currently expects to launch in May at the NASPE Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions, is a genetic test for cardiac ion channel mutations, which will include mutations responsible for causing Familial Long QT and Brugada Syndromes, two causes of sudden cardiac death.
Genaissance currently expects to market this genetic test to pediatric cardiologists and electrophysiologists, to whom patients with such syndromes are generally referred. Genaissance will conduct the genetic test in its CLIA-licensed laboratory in New Haven, Connecticut. Genaissance believes that the results from the test will assist physicians in choosing the most appropriate course of treatment for each patient.
"The rapid evolution of the field of genetics is allowing tremendous advances in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with a wide variety of cardiovascular conditions," said Michael J. Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Director of the Long QT Syndrome Clinic. "Genetic testing for Long QT Syndrome represents one of the most significant advances in the clinical evaluation of families with this potential life-threatening condition."
"We are continuing our R&D investment in this disease area and it is our intention to build a pharmacogenomic franchise around the genetics of cardiac ion channel mutations," said Richard S. Judson, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Genaissance. "We believe that there is an opportunity to bridge our knowledge of Long QT Syndrome to drug-induced QT prolongation, which has led to the withdrawal of important and well-known drugs from the market."
"Sudden cardiac death continues to be a major health issue, killing more than 300,000 people each year in the United States, and syndromes such as Long QT contribute to this problem," said Arthur J. Moss, M.D., Professor of Medicine at Rochester University. "It's very exciting to continue our research in this field with the support of a company like Genaissance that is focused on the genetics of cardiovascular medicine."
As part of these agreements, Drs. Moss and Ackerman will serve on Genaissance's Advisory Board.
Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a world leader in the discovery and use of human gene variation for the development of a new generation of DNA- based diagnostic and therapeutic products. Genaissance markets its technology, clinical development skills and pharmacogenomic services to the pharmaceutical industry as a complete solution for improving the development, marketing and prescribing of drugs. Genaissance has agreements with major pharmaceutical, diagnostic and biotechnology companies. Genaissance is headquartered in Science Park in New Haven, Connecticut. Visit the company's website at http://www.genaissance.com/.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the expected growth and development of Genaissance's business, the timing and outcome of its genetic testing programs, the ability of Genaissance to apply its technologies to the development, marketing and prescribing of drugs and Genaissance's ability to detect associations between clinical outcomes and genetic variation. Such statements are subject to certain factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, events and performance to differ materially from those referred to in such statements, including, but not limited to, the extent to which genetic markers (haplotypes) are predictive of clinical outcomes and drug efficacy and safety, the attraction of new business and strategic partners, the adoption of our technologies by the pharmaceutical industry, the acceptance of our cardiac tests by health care providers, the timing and success of clinical trials, competition from pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics companies, the strength of our intellectual property rights and those risks identified in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 30, 2004, and in other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgment of Genaissance as of the date of this release. Genaissance disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement.
Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, Inc.