Eight Centers in North America and Europe Participate in a Search for Biomarker
VANCOUVER, Oct. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - BC-based biotech company Sirius Genomics today announced the launch of a large, international study that enlists the help of some of the world's top acute care centers in a hunt for a biomarker that would predict outcome from a controversial treatment using activated protein C.
With an estimated 18 million global cases annually, sepsis is associated with high mortality rates at between 30 percent and 50 percent, and patients are three times more likely to die from sepsis as from heart attack. In the past 20 years, only one drug, activated protein C, has been approved for use in sepsis treatment. The problem is that while activated protein C can be highly effective, it can also have adverse side effects so doctors are reluctant to prescribe it.
"This study is unique because we have attracted the top clinical researchers in the world to participate," said Chris Wagner, President and CEO at Sirius Genomics. "Our common goal is to determine whether there is a genetic marker for positive response to treatment with activated protein C. Doctors can then run a simple test before prescribing the drug to ensure a patient with sepsis will benefit from treatment."
"For critical care physicians treating severe sepsis, activated protein C offers significant benefit, increasing overall patient survival by approximately 13 percent," said Dr. Jim Russell, Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and Co-founder at Sirius. "Its use is limited by the difficulty of distinguishing those patients who would most benefit from those who may face adverse side effects from activated protein C. A statistically significant genetic biomarker to identify which patients benefit most would virtually eliminate this uncertainty and help save lives."
About Sirius Genomics
A private biotechnology company based in Vancouver, Canada, Sirius Genomics develops companion diagnostics (CDx) that are closely tied to therapeutic decisions, leading to better patient outcomes through personalized medicine. Sirius generates value by improving the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceutical compounds. The Company correlates patient genetics with clinical outcomes, leading to proprietary and commercially viable CDx products that enable better drug treatment. The Company's lead product is a genetic predictor of response to treatment for sepsis, a deadly syndrome that worldwide impacts 18 million people annually.