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22 Dec 2023

Pivotal study published in the prestigious American Heart Association journal “Circulation”

In this research, titled "Using Genetics to Inform Interventions Related to Sodium and Potassium in Hypertension", the Pharmagenic Enrichment platform was used to generate genetic biomarkers that predict the blood pressure lowering activity of drugs and diet that reduce an individual’s sodium concentration in blood.

While it is known that electrolyte concentration (particularly sodium from table salt and processed food) has an influence on blood pressure, the benefit of drugs and diets that modify their levels is highly variable between individuals. The authors hypothesized that a substantial proportion of inter-individual difference relates to genomic variation in the genes and biological pathways that regulate the physiological levels of sodium and potassium. By using Pharmagenic Enrichment the authors were able to estimate the composition of this aspect of blood pressure-associated genetic variation, in a given individual, and predict the benefit from sodium reduction. To test the utility of this approach the investigators used ecological multivariate ‘real-world’ data captured in a large subset of participants (n~300,000) in the UK Biobank cohort with urinary sodium concentration, blood pressure and genome-wide genetic data.

This enabled the triangulation of genetic score (related to sodium/potassium regulation) with the corresponding measures of sodium and blood pressure. The paper’s first author and PolygenRx cofounder Dr William Reay said, “We show a gene-by-environment interaction indicative of an outsized blood pressure lowering benefit of sodium reduction in people with higher levels of pharmagenic enrichment. This means we can use an individual’s genetic profile to estimate the blood pressure lowering utility of drugs and diet that reduce sodium.”

CEO Professor Murray Cairns said, “We are extremely excited about this result, as the study demonstrated the potential to use pharmagenic enrichment to transform the treatment and prophylaxis of high blood pressure. It augurs well for our upcoming Phase III clinical trial to further evaluate the utility of the platform to match participants with an effective antihypertensive treatment.”

Bringing this approach to the clinic will be an important advance given that more than a third of adults have elevated blood pressure and nearly 70% of these individuals do not achieve adequate control. Even a modest improvement in these figures would save millions of lives and many billions of dollars in health care, disability support and lost productivity.

More broadly this methodology will enable precision medicine and targeted drug discovery for a broad range of chronic diseases which constitute a tremendous personal and societal burden. The publication is freely available at the American Heart Association journals web page.

Pivotal study published in the prestigious American Heart Association journal “Circulation”

20 Dec 2023

PolygenRx founders receive $7 million in funding to support their clinical and pre-clinical precision medicine research program

Professor Murray Cairns and Dr William Reay have been awarded more than $3.6 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council to support their translational genomics research. This funding, provided through the Investigator Grant scheme, will be used to support a genetically guided clinical trial of adjuvant therapies for schizophrenia. This is in addition to $1 million awarded earlier in the year by the New South Wales Ministry of Health for preclinical development of this program. This follows the announcement of a further $2.6 million awarded to the founder’s team less than a month ago through the Medical Research Future Fund, to conduct the first genetically guided clinical trial of antihypertensive treatment.

PolygenRx CEO Professor Murray Cairns said: “I’m very excited to be able to advance our clinical programs in precision medicine targeting both cardiovascular and psychiatric disorders. This funding (collectively over $7 million) provides a tremendous boost to our capacity to demonstrate the application of our Pharmagenic Enrichment platform in a prospective clinical setting”.

With a global epidemic of chronic disease, there is an urgent need for new targeted treatments informed by causal factors specific to each individual, rather than the common symptoms. These studies will generate the evidence needed to accelerate the uptake of our platform in pharmaceutical development and for use as in vitro diagnostics for genetically guided treatment decisions.

PolygenRx cofounder Dr William Reay said: “The health risk associated with common disease has high levels of heritability that is not usually considered during the discovery and implementation of treatment. This funding will provide clinical evidence for the utility of our genetically informed precision medicine approach, to break through the inter-individual heterogeneity that negates current drug discovery and development programs in chronic disease.”

PolygenRx founders receive $7 million in funding to support their clinical and pre-clinical precision medicine research program

15 July 2023

PolygenRx Announces Collaborative Agreement with Atherion Bioresearch Inc.

Today PolygenRx announced that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with Atherion Bioresearch, Inc. Atherion is a full-service clinical research organization (CRO) offering bespoke solutions for accelerating pharmaceutical development. PolygenRx CEO, Professor Cairns said, "We look forward to complementing this highly experienced team’s capability for supporting leading edge clinical trials using our ground-breaking Pharmagenic Enrichment platform."

PolygenRx can dramatically reduce the cost and risk of late-stage clinical trials by genetically enriching for treatment responders. We can support the development of undifferentiated assets into targeted therapies. To learn how to tackle drug response heterogeneity with our Precision Medicine strategy, email

PolygenRx Announces Collaborative Agreement with Atherion Bioresearch Inc.
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