Genetic mutation linked to heart attacks inspires new drugs

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

When Sean Harper took over as Amgen’s head of research in 2012, one of his first moves was to get the biotech giant to pay $415 million to buy DeCode Genetics, a struggling company in Iceland well-known for the huge DNA database it had built.

That bet paid off as scientists at DeCode described how they found a specific DNA defect that lowers the chance of having a heart attack by 35 percent, which they call the largest such effect ever found.

Amgen says it is already working on drugs that can copy the effect.

ADVERTISEMENT

The discovery shows how some drug companies are exploiting gene databases to speed the search for drugs. Amgen’s Harper has said he believes the tactic could cut 18 months off the typical 14-year process of bringing a drug from the lab to market.

In their effort, DeCode searched the DNA of more than 300,000 Icelanders for unusual versions of genes previously linked to cholesterol levels. The gene variant they found occurs when one or both copies of a gene named ASGR1 are broken and don’t correctly make a protein. DeCode says about one in 120 Icelanders possess the gene variant and that, based on studies of their medical records, they have lower levels of bad cholesterol and live on average 1.5 years longer.

Read full, original post: Amgen Finds Anti-Heart Attack Gene

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend