The Financial Times reports that the FDA has approved a new chip-based technology from Roche, that identifies slow and fast drug metabolizers:
The new technology combines chemistry, physics and biology to develop electronic devices able to reach diagnostic conclusions.
Roche has combined its polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology for putting genetic information on a chip with chip developments pioneered by Affymetrix, a US science group from which bought a non-exclusive licence two years ago.
In the first result of the two companies’ co-operation, Roche has developed a device to define patients’ susceptibility to certain types of drugs by detecting their metabolism. The test can be used to determine dosages, preventing patients being given too much, or too little, medication.
Executives at Roche said it was still years before the arrival of “Star Trek” style medicine, where physicians would wave an electronic gadget around a patient to arrive at a diagnosis. But Heino von Prondzynski, head of Roche’s diagnostics division, said the new AmpliChip technology could lead to the development of medicines that would “really save lives”. It could also take some of the pain out of routine medical problems.
“Your dentist could determine, for example, how much painkiller you need, so you won’t have to go around with a swollen cheek for the rest of the day,” said Mr von Prondzynski, in an interview with the Financial Times.
More on AmpliChip from Roche…