CAMH and Assurex Health launch joint venture to advance personalized medicine

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The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s leading hospital for mental health, and Assurex Health, a global leader in personalized medicine, have signed an agreement for a joint venture to bring the benefits of this treatment approach to more Canadians. The personalized approach helps to match the right medication at the right dose for each patient, based on their genetic makeup. Using Assurex Health’s GeneSight panel, physicians can easily see which psychiatric medications are likely to be effective for each patient and which ones are not, often avoiding treatment failure and side effects. “This partnership between CAMH and Assurex Health is essential to advance the widespread use of personalized medicine in psychiatry, and improve health care for Canadians who need medications for mental health problems,” said Dr. James Kennedy, head of the Tanenbaum Centre for Pharmacogenetics at CAMH. This approach is a game-changer from the current trial-and-error approach to prescribing, which results in many patients having to try different psychiatric medications, each with potential side-effects, before the best medication for them can be determined. In the U.S., Assurex Health data shows a 70 per cent improvement in depressive symptoms when GeneSight testing is used to predict patient response to antidepressants versus treatment as usual, and a 28 per cent reduction in health care costs.

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