A variety of approaches are being taken to both conduct and enable pharmacogenetics research using genetic data from individual patients. First Genetic Trust Inc. plans to provide an information technology infrastructure to enable pharmacogenetic research while preserving individual patient control over use of genetic data.

First Genetic Trust (Chicago, Ill.), which last week announced its formation, will combine management from The SNP Consortium and information technology from partner IBM Corp. to create a central repository of genetic data under the control of individual patients. The repository will offer data management and bioinformatics services to companies and institutions involved in clinical trials and genetic research. The company believes that such a central repository, with individual patients having control over the use of their own genotype and associated information, will allow broad pharmacogenetic studies and appropriate prescription of drugs in an ethically responsible manner.