Matsushita says new DNA technology identifies disease risks

TOKYO, August 20, 2008 (AFP) – Japan’s Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said Wednesday that it had developed a new way of predicting from a person’s DNA their response to medication and risk of developing disease. Matsushita, which is best known for its Panasonic brand, said it had developed a technology to electronically identify sequence variations in DNA, called single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs.

It described the technology as a “world-first” that uses artificial DNA dissolved in a solution instead of being attached to an electrode.

“This technology makes it possible to predict individuals’ responses to drugs and their risk of developing disease,” said the company, which collaborated with Konan University on the project.

“In the future, this technology is expected to enable hospitals or clinics to provide patients with treatments and drugs tailored to their individual physical characteristics,” it said.