Gene test can predict risk of medications causing liver injury – EurekAlert

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IMAGE: Color-enhanced confocal microscope image of a liver organoid used in a study in Nature Medicine that reports success at developing a polygenic risk score for predicting whether a medication will… view more 

Credit: Cincinnati Children’s

CINCINNATI–Scientists who were working on a way to determine the viability of batches of tiny liver organoids have discovered a testing method that may have far broader implications.

Their study published Sept. 7, 2020, in Nature Medicine, reports identifying a “polygenic risk score” that shows when a drug, be it an approved medication or an experimental one, poses a risk of drug-induced liver injury (DILI).

The work was conducted by consortium of scientists from Cincinnati Children’s, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. in Japan, and several other research centers in Japan, Europe and the US. The findings take a large step toward solving a problem that has frustrated drug developers for years.

“So far we have had no reliable way of determining in advance whether a medication that usually works well in most people might cause liver injury among a few,” says Jorge Bezerra, MD, Director, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Cincinnati Children’s.

“That has caused a number of promising medications to fail during
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