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Coronavirus

Polymeropoulos’ Vanda Pharmaceuticals Studying COVID-19 Patients

April 26, 2020

The Washington, D.C.-based Vanda Pharmaceuticals, cofounded by Dr. Mihael Polymeropoulos said it is collaborating with the University of Washington School of Medicine to study pharmacogenetics in patients with COVID-19.

The study will look at how people respond differently to drug therapy based upon their genetic makeup or genes, and the partners, said Genome Web, plan to collect whole-genome sequencing data from more than 1,000 patients with coronavirus infection and sequence the viral genomes to explore host susceptibility, clinical outcomes of whole-genome sequencing, host-virus interactions, and disease severity.

“The study has the potential to provide new insights into virus-host interactions that could lead to more effective public health strategies and the design and development of vaccines and therapeutics,” Sandra Smieszek, head of genetics at Vanda, said in a statement. “With the vast amount of data we expect to collect, the team will aim to discern the factors associated with severity and other critical, clinical characteristics of the infected individuals.”

Polymeropoulos received his degree in medicine from the University of Patras in Greece and helped found Vanda, which develops drugs for jet lag disorder, bipolar disorder, atopic dermatitis, and hematologic malignancies, now turning to COVID-19 study.

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