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Quest Diagnostics Brings Genetic Testing for Plavix(R) Response to Coronary Stent Patients at Scripps Health
Date:10/7/2009

MADISON, N.J., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- DNA testing for gene variants that can increase the risk of major coronary events in certain patients taking the anti-clotting drug Plavix® (clopidogrel bisulfate) is now being performed by Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX) for Scripps Health patients electing to undergo coronary stent procedures. Scripps Health is believed to be the first health system in the U.S. to deploy this genetic testing service for coronary stent patients as part of patient treatment. Scripps physicians will initially offer the genetic tests to elective stent patients before they undergo their procedures at Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego.

The Quest Diagnostics test is designed to help improve outcomes for stent recipients by enabling Scripps Health cardiologists to personalize therapy based on diagnostic insights into a patient's genetic makeup.

"Our collaboration with Quest Diagnostics represents a landmark program in individualized medicine, based on considerable new data and new choices for one of the most commonly prescribed medications and medical procedures in the world," said Dr. Eric Topol, chief academic officer of Scripps Health. "This program demonstrates Scripps Health's commitment to being at the forefront of individualized cardiovascular medicine."

Most of the one million patients who undergo stent procedures in the U.S. each year receive Plavix to help prevent blood clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes. Yet, large-scale, peer-reviewed studies demonstrate that patients with one or more mutated alleles (variants) of the Cytochrome (CYP) 2C19 gene are unable to respond properly to Plavix, increasing their risk of death, heart attack or stroke compared to people with normal alleles. About one third of people of Caucasian descent, and 40 percent or more of people of African and
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