Task 2

miércoles, 3 de octubre de 2007

Drug firms search for clues to prevent serious side effects

When a pharmaceutical launches a new drug, after expensive research, it always runs the risk to obtain serious side effects in the population.

To prevet this, giants pharmaceutical have joined with US authorities with an attempt to use genetics to discover why some people respond differently than other with the same drug for the same disease, specially when they have dangerous side effects.

Big pharmaceutical companies have lost million dollars on having withdrawn medicines from the market that have presented side effects in the population (most famously when Merck withdrew its painkiller Vioxx in 2004 over fears it increased the risk of heart attacks).

Seven pharmaceuticals groups, have now teamed up with three academic institutions including Newcastle University, and the US Food and Drug Administration to create the Serious Adverse Events Consortium, or SAEC.

The SAEC will investigate in the first instance, on drug-related toxicity in the liver and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, which consists on a strange skin condicion caused by almost medicine, including over the counters medicines like ibuprofen.

It will attempt to find specific genetic markers that will be made available to researchers, drug developers and pharmaceutical companies with the aim to research other adverse reactions.

Arthur Holden, the chairman of the SAEC, said "the most efficient way to study drug-related SAEs is to create a global, publicly available 'knowledge base' that will help identify the genetic variations that may predicts SAEs."

They plans to have information out about Stevens-Johnson Syndrome within a year.