March 7, 2002
Taylor J. Crouch
President and CEO
Paving the Way for Individualized Medicine
What is the history of your organization’s involvement in life sciences?
Crouch: Variagenics was founded in 1992, and the company’s initial scientific focus was on developing a pharmacogenomic approach to cancer therapeutics. In 1996, Variagenics began broadening its emphasis to serve a range of therapeutic areas including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and inflammatory and central nervous system disorders.
Concentrating our efforts on genes of known function, we have identified and analyzed genetic markers implicated in the pathways that are targets of many of the drugs that are currently in development. Today, Variagenics’ primary pharmacogenomics focus is, once again, in the area of oncology. We offer an integrated, total-solution approach to pharmacogenomics that can improve a drug or diagnostic profile at various steps of the drug development process, from target identification to clinical trials to commercialization.
What is your vision for the development of the life sciences market?
Crouch: Variagenics envisions a significant change in how drugs are developed and marketed, and also what patients and physicians will come to expect with regard to individualized medicine. Our company is working to help change the practice of medicine as well as improve the standard of drug therapy available to the general public. It is our company’s mission to apply pharmacogenomics toward the creation of molecular diagnostics that will enable drug developers and doctors to identify patients who will respond well to a specific treatment and those who are at risk of drug-related toxicity.
What organizational assets have you developed to serve this community?
Crouch: Variagenics has created a fully integrated platform around which to apply and commercialize pharmacogenomics. Our business model consists of proprietary platforms, a growing body of essential genetic data, and established and proven scientific capabilities.
What products and services does your company provide to the life sciences market?Crouch: Variagenics currently provides the following products and services:
• Variagenic Impact Program (VIP): A family of technologies that filter and focus complex genetic information relevant to a drug compound and provide applicable data for clinical research testing.
• NuCleave (genotyping/haplotyping platform): Enables clinical researchers to genotype and haplotype patient samples via a highly accurate DNA analysis platform.
• Variagenic Pathways Program (VPP): Presents an opportunity for clients to acquire a thorough understanding of the genetic variability in a drug target using proprietary information not available in public databases.
• ProSNP database: A comprehensive collection of SNPs, haplotypes, and other genetic markers discovered in the approximately 5,000 genes that are relevant to major drug targets in development.
• Variagenic Biological Impact (VBI) process: A process composed of a proprietary set of methodologies for identifying the most valuable subset of SNPs for analysis in patient samples by employing allele frequency and linkage disequilibrium analysis.
Return to main index page.