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MaRS EXCITE and Assurex Health collaborate to bring precision medicine to Canadians suffering from depression and schizophrenia


Toronto, CN (PRWEB) June 12, 2015

MaRS EXCITE announced today that Assurex Canada, a precision medicine company that helps patients with mental health disorders, has joined its evaluation platform.

Assurex Canada helps healthcare providers tailor the right treatment to patients using a genetic test called GeneSight, which is displacing the current trial and error approach to prescribing medication for behavioral health conditions.

GeneSight technology is based on combinatorial pharmacogenomics (CPGxTM), a proprietary informatics platform that integrates and weights the importance of multiple genes that affect an individual’s ability to tolerate and respond to 33 Health Canada approved medications commonly prescribed to treat depression and schizophrenia, as well as anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, and other behavioral health conditions.

Within 36 hours of receiving a DNA sample collected with a simple cheek swab, Assurex Canada’s laboratory will send a report to the patient’s healthcare provider that groups medications into the categories of “use as directed,” “use with caution,” and “use with increased caution and with more frequent monitoring” based upon a patient’s genetic profile and the genetic pathways through which medications work in the body.

GeneSight Helps Healthcare Providers, Patients

GeneSight was developed in the Assurex Health clinical laboratory and is based on patented technology licensed from Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It also incorporates genetic markers discovered by the Center for Mental Health and Addiction (CAMH). GeneSight helps healthcare providers more quickly find an effective treatment for their patients and may save patients from experiencing side effects that often come from taking antidepressants and antipsychotics.

“The potential benefit of GeneSight is significant when you consider that approximately eight percent of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives and one percent of the Canadian population is affected by schizophrenia ”, said Virginia “Gina” C. Drosos, President and CEO, Assurex Health. “More than 160,000 people in the U.S. have had the GeneSight test. We are eager to work with MaRS EXCITE to show the economic value of GeneSight to the government and healthcare providers and quickly bring this technology to Canadian patients.”

“Knowing a patient’s potential reaction to a treatment whether serious weight gain, insomnia or other side-effects can lead to better adherence, reduced relapse and fewer readmissions to the hospital,” said Catherine Zahn, President and CEO, CAMH.

“GeneSight represents the first genetic testing technology to be evaluated through the EXCITE program. To convince healthcare providers to integrate genetic testing tools such as GeneSight into their routine decision-making – and to convince payers to reimburse this innovation – will take more than just data on safety and effectiveness. It requires a compelling case be made to primary care health professionals on the value of incorporating this genetic test into the way they work today,” said Dr. Zayna Khayat, Director of the MaRS EXCITE program.

Results from the EXCITE evaluation of GeneSight technology are expected to be ready for a coverage decision in Ontario by 2017.

EXCITE’s partnering research centre, the Programs for Assessment of Technology in Health (PATH) Research Institute based in Hamilton, Ontario, will design and oversee the EXCITE evaluation which will include:

1.    Two separate multicentre randomized control trials that will evaluate the effect of using GeneSight on patients with major depressive disorder and schizophrenia. These trials will include over 1,000 Ontario patients.

2.    A review of the literature associated with the use of pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine for treatment guidance in mental health and other therapeutic areas (e.g. oncology, cardiology, immunology).

3.    Economic models that show the potential cost savings associated with using GeneSight for patients compared to the cost of current treatment practices and comparative technologies. These models will include costs associated with medication use, physician visits, hospital admissions, productivity losses and short-term disability costs.

4.    A knowledge translation strategy to communicate the findings of the three above studies to mental health and family medicine practitioners.

About EXCITE

MaRS’ Excellence in Clinical Innovation and Technology Evaluation (EXCITE) is an evaluation platform that accelerates the adoption of breakthrough medical technologies by prioritizing only the best, most cost-effective technologies and helping them obtain the evidence they need for federal licensing and provincial health system adoption.

EXCITE helps these technologies navigate the system and get to market—and to patients—faster by providing:

    An early indication of fit with the healthcare system;
    Evidence in time to make technology improvements; and
    Harmonized studies that support licensing and adoption decisions.

About MaRS Discovery District

MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs. MaRS cultivates high-impact ventures and equips innovators to drive economic and social prosperity. MaRS provides expert advice and market research, and makes connections to talent, customers and capital. MaRS startup clients have created 6,500 jobs and, in the last three years alone, they have raised $ 1 billion in capital and earned $ 500 million in revenue.

About Assurex Health

Assurex Health is a commercial-stage, informatics based precision medicine company providing treatment decision support to clinicians for behavioral health conditions. Assurex Health’s proprietary GeneSight technology is based on combinatorial pharmacogenomics (CPGx™) – the application of multiple genetic factors that influence an individual’s response to medications – as well as evidence-based medicine and clinical pharmacology. Assurex Health has licensed patented technology from Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, both of whom continue to be research collaborators. Assurex Canada is a subsidiary of Assurex Health. Learn more at http://www.assurexhealth.com.

Assurex Health contact:

Sarah DeDiemar                

sdediemar(at)assurexhealth(dot)com

513.701.5162

Cheryl Byrne

cheryl(at)rickmillercommunications(dot)com    

978.837.0371    

MaRS EXCITE contact:

Lily Lo, Associate

Email: llo(at)marsdd(dot)com

Phone: 647-255-1224






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Statins are one of the most successful drugs able to slow down the formation of cholesterol-rich atherosclerotic plaques on the arterial walls, and reduce the development of and mortality from coronary heart disease, CHD.

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These preliminary results indicate that the liver targeting delivery could increase the efficacy of statins, by apparent reduction of their random distribution to other organs, which are not involved in LDL synthesis, hence potentially minimise the side-effects of these drugs.

Some results of this trial have now been published in a peer review journal as a State of the Art Paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4424257/pdf/AMS-11-25022.pdf

Later this week the Lycotec team, Dr Ivan Petyaev and Dr Yuiry Bashmakov, will present the LycoStatinTM at the World Liver Targeting Conference in Malta: http://www.targeting-liver.com

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New METTLER TOLEDO Balances Support Lean Processes and Bring Comfort to Daily Weighing Tasks


Greifensee (PRWEB) April 07, 2015

METTLER TOLEDO is pleased to announce the launch of its MS-TS wide-touchscreen analytical and precision balances. Operable bare-handed or through cotton, rubber or silicon gloves, these daily-use balances provide accuracy, ease-of-use, and traceability. The weighing-in guide helps users dose within the defined tolerances. Built-in applications steer users through weighing tasks to reduce the risk of human-error. In combination with the green/red results screen, which clearly indicates if results meet the process pass/fail criteria, daily tasks are faster and easier whilst confidence in results is increased. Standard checks and safety features provide added surety.

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For more on the MS line visit http://www.mt.com/lab-ms-balances.

About METTLER TOLEDO

METTLER TOLEDO is a leading global supplier of precision instruments and services. The Company is the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of weighing instruments for use in laboratory, industrial and food retailing applications. METTLER TOLEDO also holds top-three market positions in several related analytical instruments and is a leading provider of automated chemistry systems used in drug and chemical compound discovery and development. In addition, the Company is the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of metal detection and other end-of-line inspection systems used in production and packaging and holds a leading position in certain process analytics applications. Additional information about METTLER TOLEDO can be found at http://www.mt.com.






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