July 12, 2012
Morrisville, N.C. – Gentris Corporation (www.gentris.com), a global leader in pharmacogenomics and biorepository services, announced today that it has expanded its genomic biomarker services by incorporating multiple technology platforms into its 24,000 sq. ft., CLIA-certified, GLP-compliant laboratory. Gentris has integrated the Affymetrix GCS3000, Sequenom MassArray, and LifeTech Ion Torrent technologies in a continued effort to identify polymorphisms involved in drug response and adverse drug events as well as in determining somatic mutations in cancer.
Gentris has utilized Affymetrix DMETTM Plus analysis in a number of clinical studies, including oncology clinical trials. DMETTM Plus analysis allows drug developers to understand how variations in drug metabolism enzymes and drug transporters between patients affects adverse drug responses and treatment efficacy. This type of analysis has been implemented by major pharmaceutical companies in Phase I through Phase III clinical trials focused on numerous therapeutic areas. Most recently, Gentris collaborated with Dr. Howard McLeod of UNC-Chapel Hill to assess the risk of sensory neuropathy in breast cancer patients with genetic variations in drug metabolizing enzymes.
With the integration of Sequenom’s MassArray, Gentris is able to design customizable, multiplex panels of genes for use in clinical trials. The Company has already designed a custom panel for a top ten pharmaceutical company. In addition, Gentris offers the iPLEX ADME PGx panel, which examines 192 of the most common variants in 36 ADME genes; the OncoCarta Panel v1.0, which is a comprehensive screen of 19 oncogenes and 238 mutations; and the Sequenom Sample ID Plus panel, which ensures that chain of custody is maintained and that there is amplifiable DNA in the sample.
The latest platform to be brought online is LifeTech’s Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM) for next generation sequencing. The Ion Torrent PGM allows for rapid, deep sequencing of large areas of the genome, which can efficiently identify both common and rare variations that may better predict the safety and efficacy of new drugs in development. Currently, Gentris is using the Ion Torrent PGM for discovery initiatives with its pharmaceutical partners as well as part of a collaboration with UNC-Chapel Hill.
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“The expansion of our services by using these platform technologies allows us to provide our clients quality and regulated services in all phases of the clinical development pipeline,” said Dr. L.Scott Clark, Gentris Chief Scientific Officer. “It’s very exciting to use the Ion Torrent for discovery initiatives, because the depth of coverage and resolution can reveal new SNPs and variations that may be clinically relevant. However, these results need to be verified on a second
platform which Gentris can perform because of its extensive experience with real-time PCR, Sanger sequencing, and Sequenom platforms.”
“The key to successfully implementing pharmacogenomics is to use the right platform to answer your specific question,” said Dr. Howard McLeod, Director of the UNC Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy and Gentris Chief Scientific Advisor. “By integrating multiple platforms, Gentris has the ability to address the needs of pharmaceutical clients during any stage in the clinical development of a drug. I’m excited to be working with them to discover, translate, and validate new biomarkers that will have an impact on patient care.”
About Gentris Corporation:
Founded in 2001, Gentris is located in Research Triangle Park, NC, where it provides pharmacogenomics and biorepository support for all phases of clinical studies and genomic biomarker programs. The Company works with academic and industry leaders to translate innovations in pharmacogenomics into safer, more effective medicines, which can lead to accelerated drug development and improvement in patient care globally.