Success Story on Personalized Medicine for Kidney-Transplant Patient

BIOTEC recently signed an MOU with Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University offering the genetic test for TPMT gene to kidney-transplant patient to identify appropriate dosage of azathioprine, an immunosuppressive drug commonly used in Asian kidney-transplant patient.

The test is a result of BIOTEC's 2-year research grant to Dr. Suda Vannaprasaht, MD, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University. Azathioprine is metabolized by thiopurine-S-methyltransferase (TPMT) to inactive metabolites. It has been demonstrated that individual variation of azathioprine enzyme activity was due to TPMT genetic polymorphism. In her research, Dr. Suda studied the prevalence of TPMT gene in Thai kidney transplant patients as well as investigated the relationship between adverse drug reaction and TPMT genetic polymorphism and TPMT activity.

In general, the expenses for each transplant surgery and the immunosuppressive drugs, given for protecting the reaction between patient’s tissue and donated kidney after operating, are very high. This test, which will help identify appropriate dosage of azathioprine, will likely cut down the expenses. The test will also reduce the risk of overdosing the medicine to patients who carry mutant alleles of TPMT that show low activity of TPMT.


The transferring technology MOU signing ceremony was held between BIOTEC and Khon Kaen University. (From left to right) Prof. Wiroon Laupattarakasem, MD, Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Dr. Prasit Palittapongarnpim, Deputy Director of BIOTEC.