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Sanford Health Invests $800K in TruGenomix as Part of PTSD Test Alliance

NEW YORK —Sanford Health said on Thursday that it has provided $800,000 in convertible note financing to behavioral health diagnostics firm TruGenomix as part of a partnership to advance a blood test for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

TruGenomix, which joined the Illumina Accelerator in 2018, has developed a next-generation sequencing-based test called TruGen-1 that measures the expression of three genes — FKBP5, STAT5B, and NFIA — involved in the control of the stress hormone cortisol. According to the Rockville, Maryland-based company, differential expression of these genes is associated with the onset of PTSD symptoms.

Through their partnership, Sanford Health will use TruGen-1 to sequence 2,000 blood samples through its Imagenetics clinical genomics program to help validate the test. The nonprofit health system and TruGenomix have also agreed to pursue genetic testing contract and development opportunities.

Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We can think of no better partner than Sanford Health to support us in the further development and commercialization of our genomic test that will allow clinicians to intervene earlier, deliver more targeted treatment for behavioral health disorders, and save lives," TruGenomix Cofounder and CEO Charles Cathlin said in a statement.

Earlier this year, TruGenomix partnered with BlueBee to discover and develop biomarkers for risk assessment for PTSD and other behavioral health conditions. In January, Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Sanford Health began working with Color to expand the Imagenetics program.