LGC, Europes leading independent analytical laboratory providing advanced chemical, biochemical and forensic analysis, has announced an exclusive agreement with King’s College London to offer the first pharmacogenetic screening service which will predict whether a patient with schizophrenia will respond positively to the antipsychotic drug clozapine. Developed following 13 years of research by Professor Robert Kerwin and Dr Maria Arranz from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s, the test will help clinicians tailor the management of medication for schizophrenia to the needs of the patient.
Schizophrenia is considered the most chronic, debilitating and costly mental illness and affects between 1-2% of all populations. There is no permanent cure, but symptoms of the illness can be controlled by antipsychotic drugs. However, not all patients benefit from treatment and up to 40% of patients do not show a complete response - this is known as Treatment Resistant Schizophrenia (TRS).
Although clozapine is the only licensed drug with proven efficiency in the treatment of TRS its treatment can cause potentially serious side effects. It is therefore commonly only prescribed to patients when other medicines have failed. On average patients currently progress through four different antipsychotic medications over a period of five years before being treated with clozapine.
Wendy Taylor | alfa
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