NYC Healthcare News

Penn receives $12M NIH grant to study pharmacogenetics of nicotine addiction treatment

February 29, 2016

In this study, 1350 adult smokers will have their NMR assessed to determine whether they metabolize nicotine slowly or quickly. They will then be sorted into two groups - slow metabolizers and normal metabolizers - and randomized to treatment with a placebo, a nicotine patch, or Pfizer's Chantix (varenicline). Each participant will also provide genetic material (DNA) which will be used to identify additional gene variants that may also contribute to nicotine addiction treatment response. The prospective, double-blind placebo-controlled trial will be completed within the next four years.

The cost-effectiveness of the personalized medicine approach will be analyzed by Daniel Polsky, PhD, and Henry Glick, PhD, both from Penn's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and Daniel Heitjan, PhD, professor of Biostatistics and Statistics at Penn. Demonstrating that by matching smokers to treatment based on the NMR can increase quit rates and be achieved at a reasonable financial cost will support efforts to translate these pharmacogenetic approaches into clinical practice.

SOURCE University of Pennsylvania