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Assurex Health Launches JV with Canadian Mental Health Center

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Assurex Health has created a public-private partnership with Canada's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to offer the firm's pharmacogenomic test to help guide psychiatric treatments, the company said yesterday.

Assurex Health and CAMH have launched the joint venture AssureRx Canada to provide the GeneSight test, which measures and analyzes genomic variants to help physicians select the appropriate treatments for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other neuropsychiatric conditions.

Mason, Ohio-based Assurex Health established AssureRx Canada as a subsidiary, and it shares equity ownership of the joint venture with CAMH. AssureRx Canada will maintain an office in Toronto and a certified clinical lab at the CAMH.

An initial project goal for the collaborators will be to use the GeneSight test with 20,000 patients in Ontario to improve their treatment outcomes and lower the cost of their healthcare.

Assurex Health and CAMH also plan to pursue validation and clinical studies to enhance the GeneSight test with new genetic markers. These new markers, discovered by CAMH, predict which individuals will experience rapid weight gain, a side-effect that affects many patients.

The GeneSight panel is reimbursed by "a number of insurance companies" and Medicare and Medicaid, the company said.

Assurex Health also said that data from the US shows a 70 percent improvement in depressive symptoms when the GeneSight test is used to predict patient response to antidepressants, as well as a 28 percent reduction in healthcare costs.