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Assurex, Mayo Publish Study Showing PGx Test Can Personalize Treatment, Reduce Depressive Symptoms

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Researchers from Assurex Health and the Mayo Clinic have jointly published data in Pharmacogenetics and Genomics showing that when doctors used the GeneSight pharmacogenomic test to personalize depression treatment for patients they experienced a greater decrease in depressive symptoms compare to given drugs based on standard of care empiric prescribing.

The prospectively designed, eight-week clinical trial involved more than 200 patients, who were placed into either a PGx-guided arm or a standard of care arm. For all study participants, researchers used GeneSight to categorize 26 antidepressants and antipsychotics into green (likely to benefit based on genomic profile), yellow, and red (unlikely to benefit based on genomic profile) categories. However, those in the standard of care arm were blinded to their pharmacogenomic information until the end of the study.

"Significantly greater reductions in symptoms were observed for the GeneSight-guided group using multiple symptom rating scales completed by both clinicians and patients," Assurex said in a statement announcing publication of the study. "Participants in the GeneSight-guided group experienced an overall greater than two-fold improvement in both symptoms and likelihood to achieve remission."

Study participants who entered the study on treatments placed in the red or unlikely to benefit category by GeneSight experienced a four-fold improvement in depressive symptoms compared to those in the standard of care arm. GeneSight was also able to accurately identify which drugs the patients would benefit from most.

Additionally, for nearly 94 percent of patients in the PGx-guided treatment arm, doctors used the GeneSight report to adjust drug dosing or to change prescriptions from drugs in the red category to the green category.

According to the study authors, data from this study replicates findings reported last year in Translational Psychiatry. That earlier, smaller trial compared GeneSight-guided prescribing versus standard of care prescribing in patients with major depressive disorder for eight weeks.

Earlier this year, Assurex published data in Translational Psychiatry from a study that showed that patients with depression or anxiety disorders who were on medications GeneSight determined they wouldn't respond to, were on more treatments, had 3-fold greater absence days, and 4-fold greater medical claims than those that the test determined were taking drugs they were more likely to respond to.

Assurex in July launched an updated version of its lead psychiatric PGx planel, GeneSight Psychotropic 2.0. This version can personalize treatments with four additional drugs, covering a total of 36 commonly prescribed pyschotropic medications in the US. Of these drugs, 17 have PGx information in their FDA-approved labels.

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