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GEN News Highlights : Mar 25, 2011

AssureRx Raises $11M to Promote Pharmacogenetic Test for Psychiatric Drugs

GeneSightRx evaluates 50 variants to help predict patient response to antidepressants or antipsychotics.

AssureRx Health raised $11 million in a Series B round of financing led by Claremont Creek Ventures and Sequoia Capital. A number of new and existing investors also took part in the investment round. The firm says the funds will be used to increase direct sales and marketing activities for its flagship GeneSightRx® test, which has been developed as a cheek swab-based genetic test to help predict a patient’s likely response or tolerance to antidepressant or antipsychotic medications. The new capital will also be used for the development of new products.

GeneSightRx is a lab-developed pharmacogenetic assay carried out at AssureRx’s CLIA-certified laboratory. Designed to help provide clinicians with insight into how a patient may respond to specific psychiatric drug, the test measures a number of genetic variants that may affect a patients’ response to psychotropic therapy. The results are analyzed against 26 FDA-approved drugs to generate an evaluation report, accessed through the web

Just last month the firm announced it had added a sixth gene, CYP2C9, to the panel of evaluated variants. The new addition means GeneSightRx now measures and analyzes 50 clinically important genetic variants of six genes that can affect response to psychiatric drugs, AsssureRx notes. The other five genes included in the panel are the CYP2C19, and CYP1A2 genes, the serotonin transporter gene SLC6A4, and the serotonin 2A receptor gene 5HTR2A.