Genomind Launching Enhanced Mental Health Biomarker Test

Genomind Launching Enhanced Mental Health Biomarker Test
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Genomind said today it will launch an enhanced version of its mental health genetic test that will feature a new, more focused report and set of services, all designed to help clinicians better understand a patient’s genetic profile and its implications for mental health treatment.

Genomind Professional PGx Express, set to be launched on Saturday, is designed to furnish physicians with what the company says is the most comprehensive information available on the variants of an individual’s genetic profile known to impact mental health treatment. The format of Genomind Professional PGx Express has been restructured to provide context on genetic profiles and how they impact a patient’s journey, the company added.

Using a cheek swab administered in the physician’s office, Genomind Professional PGx Express analyzes 24 genes associated with mental health, and includes access to new technology and consultative services intended to help medical providers understand the role those genetic biomarkers may play in the treatment of mental health disorders—including depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, bipolar disorder, chronic pain, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and substance abuse.

Genomind said it is doubling its pharmacogenomic expert counseling resources, and will also soon add real-time chat capabilities to its clinician portal. The expanded suite of resources will also include:

  • A new allele frequency chart, which serves as a basic genomic backgrounder listing the possible combination of alleles for each of the genetic variations in the report as well as the frequency of these variations in different ethnic populations;
  • An Rx MetaType Card compatible with electronic medical records (EMRs) that provides the individual patient’s genotype and the expected impact (phenotype) for certain genetic variants related to drug metabolism; the ‘metatype’ can have a critical impact on the effects of drugs on that individual patient;
  • Access to NeuroFlow, a progressive collaborative care digital platform of behavioral health smart phone apps to help the care team and patients better track compliance with treatment plans and enable remote monitoring and measurement-based care.

Genomind’s ‘express’ reporting and consults are intended to enable a broader range of practitioners involved in mental health to use individual genetic profiles in making treatment decisions, including primary care and OB/GYN providers.

“We consider it essential that all mental health clinicians, including psychiatrists, primary care providers, and nurse practitioners, can obtain the most up-to-date scientific knowledge of patients’ genetics and how they can affect their mental health journey,” Genomind CEO Shawn Patrick O’Brien said in a statement. “Genomind Professional PGx Express will provide this complex but valuable information, which will help build the individual clinical picture and, ultimately, help physicians manage their patients.”

He said understanding of how genetics impacts disease and wellness continues to grow exponentially, particularly in mental health, which is 10 years behind other diseases, such as cancer.

Genomind noted that UnitedHealthcare has issued a positive coverage decision for the use of multi-gene panel PGx testing, including Genomind’s service, in some patients being treated for major depressive disorder (MDD) or anxiety. Coverage will be effective October 1, 2019.

UnitedHealthcare’s decision followed studies showing cost savings when therapy decisions were guided by PGx. In a study published in May 2018 in Depression & Anxiety, patients treated following Genomind’s test lowered their costs by $1,948 in the first 6 months following therapy, had 40% fewer emergency room visits for any cause, and 58% fewer hospitalizations for any cause.

“Pharmacogenetic testing represents a promising strategy to reduce costs and utilization among patients with mood and anxiety disorders,” the study concluded.

PGx Express was launched, according to Genomind, following positive clinician feedback and growing market demand. Another factor in expanding its suite of services was a recent FDA request to eliminate references to medications and medication classes on mental health pharmacogenomic reporting.

More than 260 FDA-approved medications must carry pharmacogenomic biomarker information on their labels, including more than 30 used in the treatment of mental health.

“Genomind will continue to meet and partner with FDA to develop the path forward to communicate pharmacogenomic information to health care professionals, for the benefit of their patients with mental illness,” O’Brien added. “That productive dialogue is ongoing as we collaborate on the best path forward to realize the benefit of pharmacogenomics.”