Test for statin side effects launched

June 1, 2012
Some people stop taking statins because of fears over side effects. Credit: iStockphoto/Marcelo Wain

(Medical Xpress) -- A simple diagnostic test developed at Oxford University, and launched today by Massachusetts-based Boston Heart Diagnostics, will identify those at increased risk of rare but serious side effects from taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

Isis Innovation, the University's technology commercialisation company, granted Boston Heart Diagnostics an exclusive US license to the test in 2011. The test is now available for license in non-US territories, including the UK.

Researchers at Oxford University's Clinical Trial Service Unit, led by Professor Rory Collins, identified the genetic biomarker SLCO1B1, which is an effective identifier of patients at increased risk of myopathy – the onset of muscle aches, pains and weakness associated with statin therapy. This condition can be extremely unpleasant and occasionally becomes very serious.

"Lowering cholesterol with statin therapy results in a substantial reduction in heart attacks, stroke and cardiovascular mortality and larger reductions in produce larger benefits," said Professor Collins. "In rare cases, myopathy occurs in association with statin therapy, especially when the statins are given at higher doses and with certain other medications. Knowledge of the SLCO1B1 marker may help to achieve the benefits of statin therapy more safely and effectively."

Boston Heart Diagnostics has now launched the Statin Induced Myopathy (SLCO1B1) Genotype test. The test classifies individuals into high risk or low risk genotypes based on the presence or absence of the SLCO1B1 .

"Of course there are any number of reasons that people ignore their healthcare provider's advice, but statin-induced myopathy can be extremely unpleasant and, for a small percentage, completely debilitating – leading many to forego taking the potentially life-saving drug," said Boston Heart Diagnostics President and CEO Susan Hertzberg.

"We are delighted to assist in bringing this important new test to the US market through an exclusive arrangement with Boston Diagnostics," said Tom Hockaday, Managing Director of Isis Innovation. "The test has the potential to allow physicians worldwide to assist patients to choose the best and safest treatment option for their particular case.'

Explore further: Statins prevent cancer in heart transplant recipients

Related Stories

Statins prevent cancer in heart transplant recipients

May 20, 2012
Statins prevent cancer and reduce death from all causes in heart transplant recipients. The findings were independent of cholesterol levels.

Intensive-dose statin therapy associated with increased risk of diabetes

June 21, 2011
An analysis of data from previously published studies indicates that intensive-dose statin therapy is associated with an increased risk of new-onset diabetes compared with moderate-dose therapy, according to a study in the ...

Recommended for you

Researchers describe mechanism that underlies age-associated bone loss

September 22, 2017
A major health problem in older people is age-associated osteoporosis—the thinning of bone and the loss of bone density that increases the risk of fractures. Often this is accompanied by an increase in fat cells in the ...

Researchers develop treatment to reduce rate of cleft palate relapse complication

September 22, 2017
Young people with cleft palate may one day face fewer painful surgeries and spend less time undergoing uncomfortable orthodontic treatments thanks to a new therapy developed by researchers from the UCLA School of Dentistry. ...

Exosomes are the missing link to insulin resistance in diabetes

September 21, 2017
Chronic tissue inflammation resulting from obesity is an underlying cause of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. But the mechanism by which this occurs has remained cloaked, until now.

Thousands of new microbial communities identified in human body

September 20, 2017
A new study of the human microbiome—the trillions of microbial organisms that live on and within our bodies—has analyzed thousands of new measurements of microbial communities from the gut, skin, mouth, and vaginal microbiome, ...

Study finds immune system is critical to regeneration

September 20, 2017
The answer to regenerative medicine's most compelling question—why some organisms can regenerate major body parts such as hearts and limbs while others, such as humans, cannot—may lie with the body's innate immune system, ...

Immune cells produce wound healing factor, could lead to new IBD treatment

September 20, 2017
Specific immune cells have the ability to produce a healing factor that can promote wound repair in the intestine, a finding that could lead to new, potential therapeutic treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

PeterD
not rated yet Jun 05, 2012
Only an idiot would take statins since there is no evidence that shows that these drugs help you live longer. they are a complete fraud!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.