“But we believe that if you could ‘type’ the patient processes of how he/she handles a drug, you could peel off those people who would be particularly sensitive to a drug.
Then you could find a sub-population where the drug is safe and highly effective.”
Evans used the arthritis drug Vioxx as an example. It helped millions of people battle painful inflammation, but was pulled from the market recently because of potential cardiac side effects in some people.
“If the drug company could have predicted which patients would have complications from Vioxx treatment — through some genetic profiling — then a very powerful and effective drug could have been preserved,” Evans said.
His company, NPS-Allelix Bio-pharmaceuticals, has been developing a product since 1989 that will be launched later this year. The drug secretes a parathyroid hormone for treating osteoporosis.