The first genetic test for Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is being launched today by PsoriasisDX, LLC, a subsidiary of molecular dermatology research and development innovator PharmaGenoma, Inc. PsA is a progressive irreversible joint disease associated with psoriasis. It is estimated that 20% to 40% of psoriasis patients will eventually develop PsA.
“The PsoriasisDX Genetic Test helps identify those at high risk for developing PsA before they experience arthritic symptoms, providing the opportunity to lessen joint damage through early medical intervention,” says Andy Goren, CEO of PharmaGenoma, Inc.
According to University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Psoriasis expert Dr. John Koo, “Until now, doctors have screened patients after the onset of the inflammatory arthritis. FDA approved medications for the treatment of PsA are most effective at controlling inflammation and arresting joint destruction, but are ineffective at reversing joint damage.”
The PsoriasisDX Genetic Test kit ($399) is available through qualified doctors. A genetic sample is collected using a cheek swab, and the sample is mailed for analysis to the PsoriasisDX laboratory. Testing is performed at a CLIA-certified laboratory. Once the genetic analysis is complete, test results will be reported to the doctor.
“Dramatic advances in science mean that genetic tests hold the promise of identifying those at highest risk for developing psoriatic arthritis,” says UCSF pharmacogenomics expert Wilson Liao, M.D.
In particular, an immune response gene variant called MICA-A9 is found in approximately 60% of patients who develop PsA. The MICA-A9 association was replicated by four peer-reviewed and published studies involving over 900 patients from multiple ethnic populations.
Positive tests for the MICA-A9 variant result in an approximately 60% chance of developing PsA, while negative tests for the MICA-A9 variant result in an approximately 70% chance of not developing PsA according to Nathan Vandergrift, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and Biostatistics at Duke University, and Professor Doron Lancet, PhD, Head of the Crown Human Genome Center at the Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science.