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Millennium Labs Expands Tests to Personalize Psychiatric Treatments

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Millennium Laboratories announced this week that it has enhanced its Urine Drug Testing platform to gauge the presence of commonly prescribed mental health drugs. Additionally, Millennium also expanded its Pharmacogenetic Testing platforms to gauge additional genetic markers that predict whether psychiatric patients will respond to various medications.

Previously both platforms were used to personalized treatments for patients suffering from pain.

The UDT can now be used to gauge the presence of antipsychotics, antidepressants, antagonists, and stimulants in patients' urine via liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The PGT platform, meanwhile, can now be used to gauge patients' response to 24 medications in eight different classes, including antipsychotics, antidepressants, opioids, benzodiazepines, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder treatments, the company said.

According to published literature, one out of four US adults suffers from a mental illness and 50 percent will develop a disorder during their lives. The annual cost of treating mental health disorders is $300 billion, and mistreating or not treating these conditions at all also costs the system $100 billion each year.

Millennium is hoping to reduce these costs by urging psychiatrists to use UDT and PGT in tandem to gain more insights on the types of medications their psychiatric patients will benefit best from. "The objective information obtained with Millennium UDT and PGT can help clinicians move beyond the trial and error approach to treatment and better match patients with medications and treatment regimens most likely to provide the desired outcome," Brock Hardaway, Millennium CEO said in a statement.

Pharmacogenomic testing for mental conditions is a fast growing market.

Geomind markets the Genecept Assay, which analyzes multiple genetic markers in patients' saliva and gauges which treatments they are likely to respond to. The test can be used to determine a treatment strategy for patients with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Assurex in July launched an updated version of its lead psychiatric PGx panel, GeneSight Psychotropic 2.0. This version can personalize treatments with four additional drugs, covering a total of 36 commonly prescribed psychotropic medications in the US. Of these drugs, 17 have PGx information in their FDA-approved labels (PGx Reporter 9/11/2013).

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