The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Personalized Medicine: Local to Global

Two local developments in personalized medicine in Canada, one at the forefront of global efforts, one making recommendations on how to play catch-up:

In Montreal, the McGill University Health Centre Division of Medical Genetics has established the SACSIN Database, a node of the global Human Variome Project, coordinated out of Melbourne, Australia.  ARSACS (autosomal recessive spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay) was first described in Quebec in 1978 and several mutations have already been identified.

In Toronto, CCO‘s Molecular Oncology Task Force we mentioned last week released its report (pdf) yesterday, which showed that of the over 1500 molecular genetic tests available in North America, fewer than 200 are available in Ontario.  The report makes several recommendations aimed at

ensuring the Ontario system can meet the demands for these services and … is prepared to capitalize on this rapidly advancing field of knowledge.

However, the recommendations themselves are more focused on “a mandatory approval process for each genetic test” and “a comprehensive and competitive approach to funding,” showing that the balancing between comparative effectiveness considerations and personalized medicine will continue to be a challenge for the Province.

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