Pharmigene has licensed its patented and patent-pending intellectual property to the Mayo Clinic to develop in-house genetic tests that can identify patients suitable for drugs linked to the treatment of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis.

The tests are being designed to detect the presence of key genetic alleles in individual patients being considered for treatment with drugs that have been linked to the potentially deadly skin disease.

The US Food and Drug Administration has determined that individuals that test positive for HLA-B*1502, a human leukocyte antigen allele, should not be treated with carbamazepine, a drug used for epilepsy, trigeminal neuralgia and bipolar disorder.

The same individuals should not be treated with phenytoin or fosphenytoin, drugs used for seizures, due to a higher risk than the general population of developing Stevens-Johnson syndrome.