27.05.2013 - A survey of European clinical geneticists show that a vast majority reject direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing without prior face-to-face counselling.
According to the survey, carried out by Heidi Carmen Howard from French INSERM and Pascal Borry from KU Leuven among 131 EU geneticists, DCT testing for monogenetic and complex diseases is more widespread than thought before. 44% of patients who asked their doctor for genetic counselling, had previously already undertaken a DCT test (Genome Medicine). However, the respondents seem concerned about the DCT test offers. 84% of them disagreed with replacing face-to-face supervision by a medical doctor with supervision via telephone, which is offered by some DTC testing firms. Over 85% of respondents said that they would offer genetic counselling to patients who asked for a consultation after having undergone DTC genetic testing
A majority of clinical geneticists also found it unacceptable to provide non-face-to-face medical supervision for: a pre-symptomatic test for a condition with very high penetrance; a predictive test for a condition that has a “medium” penetrance of 50 to 60%; and for carrier testing. For conditions that are neither treatable nor preventable and for disorders with serious health consequences, clinical geneticists were almost unanimous in expressing the unacceptability of offering such genetic tests outside of the traditional health care setting, without an established physician-patient relationship and without face-to-face medical supervision.
Recently, the German Ethics Council tabled recommendations on genetic diagnosis to the government asking for international rules for DCT testing and a duty to have face-to-face counselling before any of those tests. According to the survey, patients need qualified information on clinical significance, medical relevance and validity of such tests.
26.05.2016 BigDNA relaunches as Iceni Pharmaceuticals with the aim to develop repurposed and reformulated cancer therapies. First order of business: repurpose Merck Serono’s cilengitide as a multiple myeloma treatment.
24.05.2016 One of the pioneering companies developing pharmaceuticals and diagnostics based on the gut microbiome, Enterome Bioscience, has raised €14.5m in a Series C financing round. Among the investors were Seventure and Lundbeckfond as well as Nestlé.
20.05.2016 The long awaited global review on antimicrobial resistance by economist Lord Jim O’Neill has been published. It sets out an action plan to defeat superbugs with a huge awareness campaign and rapid diagnostics to be used before antibiotics are prescribed.
18.05.2016 Bayer is deepening its involvement in CRISPR with a licensing agreement for genome editing patents. Irish partner ERS Genomics holds the rights to the CRISPR/Cas9 tech from Emmanuelle Charpentier, one of the inventors.
11.05.2016 Newly spun out company OxStem has raised £16.9m (€21.5m) to develop regenerative meds for the treatment of age-related disease. It is the largest financing for an Oxford spin-out – or any UK academic spin-out – to date.
09.05.2016 Swiss Genentech partner AC Immune has raised CHF42.7m (€38.6m) in order to advance its therapeutic and diagnostic product pipeline in Alzheimer’s disease. The news follows a recently announced R&D collaboration with Biogen.
04.05.2016 Barcelona-based epigenetics expert Oryzon Genomics has closed a debt funding round of €10.5m, bringing the total money raised since last year to €27m. The funds will serve to advance the company’s two LSD1 inhibitors in cancer and neurodegeneration.
03.05.2016 Ipsen is strengthening its ties to long-time development partner Oncodesign, a Dijon-based cancer treatment biotech. The French pharma is handing over the pre-clinical pharmacology for its oncology research programmes to Oncodesign.