UCSF Research on Drug Interactions Lands Small Business Grant

By Kristen Bole

Kathleen Giacomini, PhD

A UCSF team led by pharmacogenetics expert Kathleen Giacomini, PhD, has received a $387,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health to perform the largest and most comprehensive study to date on the interaction between prescription drugs and the proteins that transport those drugs across the cell membrane. Giacomini is co-chair of the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences.

The UCSF project, which is a subaward of a $1.85 million SBIR grant to Optivia Biotechnology Inc., will profile 2,000 prescription drugs against key transporters in the liver and kidney. The goal, Giacomini said, is to identify which medications could cause transporter-related drug interactions, and thus lead to adverse reactions when taken with other drugs. That could have an immediate impact on improving the understanding and management of drug safety, she said, and is an example of UCSF’s ongoing efforts to translate fundamental scientific research into improvements in patient care.

Optivia Press Release: http://www.optiviabio.com/Optivia-UCSF-DDI.htm