Gentris Corp has signed a sub-licensing agreement with Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research to provide genetic testing services for the UGT1A1 gene. 
The UGT1A1 gene is known to be involved in the metabolism of irinotecan (Camptosar®), a commonly prescribed first-line treatment for advanced colon cancer and rectal cancer.  Though proven effective, irinotecan can cause dangerous or lethal adverse reactions in up to 30% of the population due to genetic inability to properly metabolize the compound.   Recognizing this, the FDA has recently revised the safety labeling for Camptosar to recommend reduced dosing in patients who test homozygous for the *28 variant of the UGT1A1 gene. 
"The ability to genotype patients for UGT1A1 before they are treated with irinotecan puts Gentris at the cutting edge of pharmacogenomics," says Michael Murphy, president and CEO of Gentris.  "Irinotecan is a classic example of a drug that has an enhanced safety profile when administered in conjunction with pharmacogenomic testing.  We are proud to be one of the select laboratories that is helping to ensure proper administration and dosing of this drug."
As a result of this non-exclusive agreement with Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Gentris is poised to offer UGT1A1 genotyping for cancer patients being treated with irinotecan.  In addition to colorectal cancer, irinotecan is also being tested and used for other gastrointestinal cancers as well as lung cancer and breast carcinoma.