The NHLBI is launching the largest prospective, multi-center, randomized clinical trial in the United States to test whether adding a gene-based strategy to clinical information for determining initial warfarin doses will improve anticoagulation control, as measured by a blood test. Called Clarification of Optimal Anticoagulation through Genetics (COAG), the trial is supported by the NHLBI, with additional funding for genome analyses from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NIGMS). The COAG trial, which will be conducted at 12 sites across the U.S., is expected to begin recruiting in May.
COAG will test a dosing strategy similar to that developed by researchers in the International Warfarin Pharmacogenetics Consortium (IWPC), whose results were published in the February 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. When they applied the strategy to information from a large database of patients, the IWPC researchers found that the predications of ideal dosages of warfarin were more accurate when the gene-based strategy was used than when clinical information alone was used.
The results of COAG could represent a major advancement toward applying personalized medicine principles to one of the most widely prescribed medications in the world.
For more information, please read NIH News Release.