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Incite Health Acquires Mental Illness Pharmacogenetics Firm CNSDose

NEW YORK – Australian direct-to-consumer genetic testing firm Incite Health said on Tuesday that it has acquired mental health pharmacogenetics firm CNSDose, also of Australia, for an undisclosed amount.

Through the acquisition, Incite Health now owns the CNSDose pharmacogenetic test and clinical support tool. The test is used to guide psychiatric medication selection by assaying 15 genes related to liver drug metabolism and drug transport across the blood-brain barrier.

The CNSDose test is currently being tested in an 800-patient clinical trial at the University of Melbourne and the Ramsay Healthcare mental health unit in Melbourne to evaluate the value of PGx testing for reducing the risk of adverse drug reactions and length of hospital stays among patients with severe depression.

The CNSDose support tool incorporates recommendations from the Clinical Pharmacogenomics Implementation Consortium (CPIC), the US Food and Drug Administration, and the Dutch Pharmacogenetics Working Group (DPWG) and can be used by other clinical specialties beyond psychiatry, such as cardiology, oncology, pain management, and gastroenterology, Incite said.

Incite Health currently offers CNSDose in Australia and New Zealand and plans to expand into Southeast Asia and the US. The company runs its own ISO15189 accredited laboratory through its wholly owned subsidiary at its Burwood East facility and is working to establish partner labs throughout Southeast Asia.

"A great deal of prescribing in psychiatry is still trial and error, and we wanted to tackle that with a technology that is backed by scientific evidence and which is affordable," Ajeet Singh, chief psychiatrist at Incite Health and founder of CNSDose, said in a statement.

CNSDose first announced plans to launch a depression medication dosing test in 2016.

Similar to CNSDose, the University of California, San Francisco recently announced plans to launch a clinical pharmacogenomics program that will test for 17 genes that influence patient responses to 62 drugs, alongside its own clinical decision support tool.