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Charlotta PI Schärfe, Roman Tremmel, Matthias Schwab, Oliver Kohlbacher, and Debora S Marks (2017)

Genetic variation in human drug-related genes

Preprint at arXiv.

Variability in drug efficacy and adverse effects are observed in clinical practice. While the extent of genetic variability in classical pharmacokinetic genes is rather well understood, the role of genetic variation in drug targets is typically less studied. Based on 60,706 human exomes from the ExAC dataset, we performed an in-depth computational analysis of the prevalence of functional-variants in in 806 drug-related genes, including 628 known drug targets. We find that most genetic variants in these genes are very rare (f < 0.1%) and thus likely not observed in clinical trials. Overall, however, four in five patients are likely to carry a functional-variant in a target for commonly prescribed drugs and many of these might alter drug efficacy. We further computed the likelihood of 1,236 FDA approved drugs to be affected by functional-variants in their targets and show that the patient-risk varies for many drugs with respect to geographic ancestry. A focused analysis of oncological drug targets indicates that the probability of a patient carrying germline variants in oncological drug targets is with 44% high enough to suggest that not only somatic alterations, but also germline variants carried over into the tumor genome should be included in therapeutic decision-making.
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