Update: RAPID GENE in The Lancet

May 29, 2012

RAPID GENE, the first-ever bedside genetic test, has received peer-reviewed validation in The Lancet, the world’s leading general medical journal. As first reported in The Beat (Volume 7, Issue 1), RAPID GENE is a point-of-care genetic test that uses a simple cheek swab to assess whether a patient will react poorly to the standard anti-platelet therapy Plavix (clopidogrel).

Developed by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, in partnership with Spartan Bioscience, the test identifies patients with a genetic variant known as CYP2C19*2.

The RAPID GENE trial, led by cardiologist Dr. Derek So and resident Dr. Jason Roberts, demonstrated that tailored drug treatment therapy made possible by the genetic screening successfully protected all of the patients with the at-risk genetic variant from subsequent adverse events. Thirty per cent of patients treated with standard therapy did not receive adequate protection.

From a delivery-of-care standpoint, the RAPID GENE test reduced the turnaround time for obtaining patient genetic information from multiple days to one hour. Conducting the test required no specialized technical expertise. Results of the trial were published in The Lancet on May 5, 2012 (Volume 379, Issue 9827).

Dr. So’s team is now recruiting patients for a new trial, RAPID STEMI, that will screen high-risk patients for three genetic variants  associated with patient response to anti-platelet therapy.