Original ArticlesPopulation genetic polymorphisms of pharmacogenes in Zimbabwe, a potential guide for the safe and efficacious use of medicines in people of African ancestryMbavha, Bianza T.a,*; Kanji, Comfort R.a,*; Stadler, Nadinab; Stingl, Juliac; Stanglmair, Andreab; Scholl, Catharinab; Wekwete, Williamd; Masimirembwa, Collena Author Information aDepartment of Genomic Medicine, African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology (AiBST), Harare, Zimbabwe bResearch Division, Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM), Bonn cInstitute of Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany dEvaluations and Registration Division, Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ), Harare, Zimbabwe *Bianza T. Mbavha and Comfort R. Kanji contributed equally to the writing of this article. Received 12 July 2021 Accepted 27 December 2021 Supplemental Digital Content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's website, www.pharmacogeneticsandgenomics.com. Correspondence to Collen Masimirembwa, PhD, African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology, Wilkins Hospital, P.O Box 2294, Harare, Zimbabwe, Tel: +263 772 422 951/+27 728 892 204; e-mail: [email protected] Pharmacogenetics and Genomics: July 2022 - Volume 32 - Issue 5 - p 173-182 doi: 10.1097/FPC.0000000000000467 Buy SDC Metrics Abstract Objective Pharmacogenomics (PGx) is a clinically significant factor in the safe and efficacious use of medicines. While PGx knowledge is abundant for other populations, there are scarce PGx data on African populations and is little knowledge on drug–gene interactions for medicines used to treat diseases common in Africa. The aim of this study was to use a custom-designed open array to genotype clinically actionable variants in a Zimbabwean population. This study also identified some of the commonly used drugs in Zimbabwe and the associated genes involved in their metabolism. Methods A custom-designed open array that covers 120 genetic variants was used to genotype 522 black Zimbabwean healthy volunteers using TaqMan-based single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping. Data were also accessed from Essential Drugs’ List in Zimbabwe (EDLIZ), and the medicines were grouped into the associated biomarker groups based on their metabolism. We also estimated the national drug procurement levels for medicines that could benefit from PGx-guided use based on the data obtained from the national authorities in Zimbabwe. Results The results demonstrate the applicability of an open-array chip in simultaneously determining multiple genetic variants in an individual, thus significantly reducing cost and time to generate PGx data. There were significantly high frequencies of African-specific variants, such as the CYP2D6*17 and *29 variants and the CYP2B6*18 variant. The data obtained showed that the Zimbabwean population exhibits PGx variations in genes important for the safe and efficacious use of drugs approved by the EDLIZ and are procured at significantly large amounts annually. The study has established a cohort of genotyped healthy volunteers that can be accessed and used in the conduct of clinical pharmacogenetic studies for drugs entering a market of people of predominantly African ancestry. Conclusion Our study demonstrated the potential benefit of integrating PGx in Zimbabwe for the safe and efficacious use of drugs that are commonly used. Copyright © 2022 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.