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Assurex Health Launches Comprehensive Genetic-Based Test to Help Clinicians Select Pain Medications for Patients

Assurex Health, Inc. recently announced a significant expansion of its GeneSight® Analgesic test.  The expanded test gives clinicians a multi-gene pharmacogenomics tool to guide medication decisions for patients with acute or chronic pain using patients’ own genetic profiles to help determine their potential response to 22 medications across four relevant medication classes: opioids, NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, and opioid dependency.

Gentris Corporation Launches Next Generation Human Transcriptome Array

Gentris Corporation (www.gentris.com), a global leader in pharmacogenomics and biorepository solutions, recently announced that it is expanding its genomic biomarker offering with the launch of Affymetrix GeneChip(R) Human Transcriptome Array (HTA) services. The GeneChip(R) HTA is a high resolution microarray for gene expression that is designed to empower next-generation expression profiling studies. The new array goes beyond gene-level expression profiling by providing the coverage and accuracy required to detect all known transcript isoforms produced by a gene.

Joint Assurex Health and Mayo Clinic Study Demonstrates Clinical Utility of Assurex Health’s Pharmacogenomic Test to Guide Treatment of Major Depressive Disorders

Assurex Health, a personalized medicine company focused on pharmacogenomics for neuropsychiatric disorders, recently announced the publication of a joint clinical study conducted by Assurex and Mayo Clinic which provides additional evidence for the effectiveness of the GeneSight pharmacogenomic test over the current method for selecting psychotropic medications. The study results were published on July 24, 2013 in Pharmacogenetics and Genomics. The primary outcome of the study showed a substantially greater baseline to endpoint decrease in depressive symptoms with higher rates of response and remission in the guided GeneSight group over empiric prescribing, which is the current standard of care. These results reinforce the benefit of GeneSight in providing more objective, evidence-based support for clinicians in selecting medications for patients with psychiatric disorders.

The prospective clinical trial, involving 227 participants divided into pharmacogenomic-guided treatment and treatment-as-usual groups, utilized the GeneSight interpretive report to categorize 26 antidepressants and antipsychotics into color-coded green, yellow, and red “bins” based on each participant’s genetic information and pharmacology of the medications. Significantly greater reductions in symptoms were observed for the GeneSight-guided group using multiple symptom rating scales completed by both clinicians and patients. Participants in the GeneSight-guided group experienced an overall greater than 2-fold improvement in both symptoms and likelihood to achieve remission.

Overall, results with GeneSight-guided treatment were superior to unguided treatment-as-usual. The study showed the ability of GeneSight to identify individuals who are likely to have a favorable outcome with specific pharmacotherapies, supporting the clinical utility of the GeneSight test. A four-fold greater improvement in depressive symptoms was observed in the GeneSight-guided group among participants who entered the study on medications most discordant (red-bin) with their pharmacogenomic profile.

Physicians for nearly 94% of patients in the GeneSight-guided group used the report to either switch participants off medications discordant with their genetics to medications in the green bin or to adjust medication dosages according to the participant’s GeneSight report.

These findings replicate and expand on the magnitude of the effect observed in a previous prospective joint clinical study from Assurex and Mayo Clinic published in Translational Psychiatry (Oct. 2012). This smaller study compared GeneSight-guided prescribing versus treatment-as-usual in adult patients with a primary diagnosis of a major depressive disorder over an 8 week period. Furthermore, a one-year blinded retrospective study of adult patients with a diagnosis of depressive or anxiety disorder published in Translational Psychiatry (Mar. 2013) demonstrated that patients taking discordant red bin medications based on the GeneSight report had substantially higher rates of medical utilization, 3-fold greater medical absence days, and 4-fold greater medical disability claims than patients on non-red bin medications.

“Multiple clinical studies have now demonstrated the clinical validity and clinical utility of our integrated, GeneSight combinatorial pharmacogenomic testing platform,” according to Bryan M. Dechairo, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs & Clinical Development at Assurex Health. “Prescribing a medication regimen that is more likely to succeed because it is tailored to an individual patient’s genetic profile can help clinicians better manage each patient’s disorder and improve clinical outcomes.”

Source: PR Newswire

Assurex Health Appoints Veteran P&G Consumer Products Executive Virginia Coleman Drosos President to Lead Personalized Medicine Growth

Assurex Health, a personalized medicine company specializing in pharmacogenomics for neuropsychiatric and other disorders, recently announced that Procter & Gamble veteran Virginia “Gina” Coleman Drosos has joined its leadership team in the role of President.

Drosos joins Assurex Health with more than 25 years of global business leadership, innovation, operations and consumer marketing expertise. During her 25 year career at The Procter & Gamble Company (PG), Gina held positions of increasing responsibility in the United States and internationally delivering strong proven results. She most recently served P&G as Group President for Global Beauty Care, a $6 billion global business unit with over 6,000 employees in 120 countries. 

“Gina brings extensive leadership and strong results on global consumer-driven businesses,” said James S. Burns, CEO of Assurex Health. “I’m particularly excited about Gina joining the team because health care is rapidly moving into an era of patient-empowerment, leading a shift to consumer-enabled personalized medicine. In bringing neuropsychiatric pharmacogenomics to a market of 40+ million patients in the U.S. alone, Assurex will benefit from Gina’s experience in creating awareness and cultivating a huge base of patients/consumers/caregivers, 80% of whom are women as the primary medical decision maker.”

Assurex Health’s pharmacogenomic technology is a breakthrough in personalized medicine. Based on each patient’s personal genetic profile, GeneSight tests help clinicians determine the right treatment medications for patients with depression, ADHD, chronic pain and other neuropsychiatric disorders. “Eliminating today’s typical trial and error process for selecting medications can help people reclaim their lives and reduces healthcare costs,” said Drosos. “I look forward to applying my experience leading in the consumer space to help make personalized medicine a standard of care in the industry. With exciting new innovations in the pipeline and our technology-information-consumer platform, I’m confident Assurex will help more physicians and practitioners determine the best treatment options and lead the movement toward consumer-enabled personalized medicine.”

Drosos also serves on the Board of Directors for several major corporations including Signet Jewelers Ltd. (SIG) and American Financial Group (AFG). Drosos earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Georgia, a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and was recognized as one of Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business in 2010 and 2011.

Source: PR Newswire

Mayo Clinic Hosts NIH Genomics Director at Individualizing Medicine Conference

From Promise to Practice is the title and the main message of the second annual Individualizing Medicine Conference at Mayo Clinic, Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Physicians from more than 40 states and several countries will be arriving in Minnesota to hear and learn about the latest developments and research in genomic research and how to move these discoveries into the medical practice. “Our goal is to inform practicing physicians, but other care providers, students, media and the public as well,” says Richard Weinshilboum, M.D., chair of this year’s conference held by Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine. “Individualizing prevention, diagnosis and treatment is the core of medical genomics and the future of medicine. Even if you missed the last 13 years since the mapping of the human genome, we’ll help you catch up in three days.”

Opening keynote speaker on Monday, September 30, will be Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Genomic Health Research, Bethesda, M.D. Co-hosts for the conference will be Richard Besser, M.D., chief health and medical editor for ABC News and former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control, and Ceci Connolly, managing director of the Health Research Institute, PwC.

The conference offers expert speakers, focused breakout sessions, and real-life case studies so participants can discover and discuss emerging topics in medical genomics. Topics range from translating genomic findings into clinical care to communicating accurately and ethically with patients. Also this year, on Sunday, Sept. 29, an “Omics 101” seminar will be offered at a lay level for those new to individualized medicine. This course is being offered separately and is ideal for students and media who will be working in or reporting on the genomics field.

Individualized medicine is a growing field of patient care based on the increasing knowledge of the human genome, mapped just a decade ago. Mayo Clinic is a leader in transferring medical genomics to medical practice clinomics as evidenced by its Individualized Medicine Clinic, launched a year ago. Mayo’s Center for Individualized Medicine also includes programs in biomarker discovery, pharmacogenomics, epigenomics and the human microbiome.

Source: Mayo Clinic