Negen opens a free COVID-19 pharmacogenomics panel

Thu, 04/23/2020 - 12:32

Negen opens a new pharmacogenomics panel. Panel focuses on pharmacogenomic effects of the medicines suggested for severe COVID-19 infection treatment. This panel is available free of charge for everyone having existing genome data from other sources, for example 23andMe and other ancestry services.

“Pharmacogenomic effects of the medicines suggested for COVID-19 treatment can be severe. Our aim is to offer free and transparent information of these medicines. Now more than ever there is a high need for medical information. Our panel is thoroughly designed and offers insights to the suggested COVID-19 medicines and personalized medicine implications. We aim to offer relevant, actionable health results free of charge for everyone who have access to their genome data via other services.” says Kirsi Auro, MD PhD and Managing Director of Negen.

Re-using existing genomic data

Negen COVID-19 pharmacogenomics panel analyzes readily available genome data related to those medicines currently suggested for SARS-CoV-2 virus infection treatment and having established pharmacogenomic effects. Medicines investigated for SARS-CoV-2 virus include chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir combination and anakinra.

Variation in individual drug response

Significant pharmacogenomic effects have been described especially with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, related to G6PD-deficiency. G6PD-deficiency is a hereditary condition where G6PD enzyme function is reduced, predisposing to hemolysis of red blood cells and severe hemolytic anemia. Several medicines, including chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, can trigger hemolysis in individuals with G6PD-deficiency. The condition is common in Mediterranean area in Europe, as well as in Middle East, Asia and parts of Africa. Over 400 million people world-wide are affected by G6PD-deficiency. In addition to G6PD-deficiency, also other gene variant are reported to affect efficacy, concentrations and side effects of the suggested SARS-CoV-2 virus medicines.

Chloroquine is an old malaria medicine which has been replaced by novel medicines with improved efficacy and safety profile. Hydroxychloroquine is a chloroquine derivative currently used widely in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and related traits. Anakinra is a biological medicine for the same disease area. Lopinavir/ritonavir combination is used in HIV treatment.

We remind that medical decisions in COVID-19 should always be taken by a physician specialized in COVID-19 treatment. Do not alter Your current medication or start new medical treatments without a proper medical consultation. Currently preventive medicines or medical treatment options are not available for COVID-19. The best way to stay safe is with proper hand hygiene and social distancing.

Negen aims to update the COVID-19 pharmacogenomics panel when new medical information becomes available.