Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Do pharmaceutical companies hinder sub-typing?

As I said before, I went to a talk on Genetics Of Complex Traits. I asked a question at the end (despite my stuttering :-). She presented work where they found statistical signals on 4-5 genes for a disorder. I asked her what this finding means. Does it mean that you need all 5 genes for the disorder to develop or just one of them or a combination? She said that this cannot be found out by the statistical analysis but by trial and error in the mixing of the compound impacting the genes in a medication.

Then I asked about sub-typing. Couldn't it be that there are 5 subtypes and each one caused by 1-2 genes. She said that sub-typing is very difficult to do. Apparently, pharmaceutical companies don't like to do research on sub-typing, because they prefer to sell a general compound for everyone rather than just for a subset where they make less money!

No comments: