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AssureRx expands genetic psychiatric drug test

AssureRx Health Inc. has added a sixth gene to its test that helps doctors pick the right psychiatric drugs for patients based on their genes.

AssureRx Health Inc. has added a sixth gene to its test that helps doctors pick the right psychiatric drugs for patients based on their genes.

With the expansion, the company’s GeneSightRx test will now measure and analyze 50 clinically important genetic variants of six genes that affect patients’ responses to psychiatric medications, according to a statement from the Mason, Ohio-based company.

Those genetic variants are then analyzed against 26 psychiatric drugs to help physicians select the appropriate medications.

Variations in the test’s sixth gene, CYP2C9, can impact patients’ metabolisms of certain psychiatric drugs, according to the company.

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The test uses a cheek swab, mathematical algorithms and bioinformatics to narrow drug choices to those that work with a patient’s genes. The company launched it in 2009.

Future products from AssureRx might include tests that help doctors choose medications for patients who have neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, as well as disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity and post-traumatic stress.

In January, AssureRx said it had found a lead investor for a Series A investment round that it hopes reaches $10 million, though it didn’t disclose the investor’s identity. It has raised about $8 million in angel funding since its inception in 2006.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Mayo Clinic are equity holders and technology collaborators. Other investors include Queen City Angels, CincyTech, the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati and Blue Chip Venture.