Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tethys and the Air Force team up--is this the Air Force's mission?

Fierce Medical Device is reporting that “Tethys Bioscience and the U.S. Air Force are collaborating to study the impact of the PreDx test in helping prevent Type 2 diabetes among the service's retirees and dependents. . . .  The study will assess the correlation between receiving comprehensive and individualized information about disease risk and the motivation to adopt a healthier lifestyle. . . .  'Our collaboration with the U.S. Air Force provides an optimal setting in which to prospectively demonstrate the value of PreDx DRS in enabling physicians and patients to determine what behavioral and dietary changes can be most effective in preempting disease in high risk individuals,' Tethys Chairman and CEO Mickey Urdea explains in a statement."

I'm very leery of medical device and product manufacturers "teaming up" with the military to do research (especially on a drug for diabetes).  Is this the Air Force's mission?  Last time I checked there was kinetic military action going on over the skies of Libya.  

Why should taxpayers fund research for Tethys.  I sure would like to see those CRDAs

1 comment:

  1. I'm a researcher. The following includes part of my assessment of Tethys Bioscience PreDx Diabetes Risk Score Test. "The PreDx Diabetes Risk Score Test is a test that enables the patient's physician to identify patients who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes within the next 5-years from those who are at moderate or lower risk. This type of genetic testing is considered "predictive genetic testing." Predictive genetic testing for non-malignant (not uncontrollable or resistant to therapy) diseases is considered investigational and not medically necessary for all indications for asymptomatic individuals who have no known risk for a specific late onset or slowly evolving genetic disorder. Here's a simple summary of what this test accomplishes; Tethys identified biomarkers (genetic markers) suspected of playing roles in diabetes development by evaluating the biomarkers found in small amounts of blood from a select population of individuals with known diabetes outcomes. The company then determined the combination of these biomarkers with an algorithm (a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number) that best identified an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes within five years. One could argue that an algorithm for risk of diabetes type 2 could also be developed based on a patient's weight, fat distribution, physical activity level, family history, race, and age. Six (6) variables total. If you assign each variable a numeric value, say 1 to 10 with 10 identifying high-risk, then the closer the total sum is to 60 (6 x 10) the higher the patient's risk. The current gold standard method for identifying individuals with type 2 diabetes is the oral glucose tolerance test." My research-based opinion: Taxpayer costs into this study are being wasted. This study should be fully funded by Tethys Bioscience.