Assurex Health, Mason, Ohio, a personalized medicine company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Myriad Genetics Inc, Salt Lake City, highlighted results from the Individualized Medicine: Pharmacogenetics Assessment and Clinical Treatment (IMPACT) study at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology.1

The Assurex study evaluated the clinical utility of the company’s GeneSight psychotropic genetic test in selecting medications for 2,025 patients with moderate-to-severe major depressive disorder who were enrolled in the IMPACT study. All patients were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory at baseline (Day 0) and at follow-up (Week 8–12) to measure symptom improvement, response, and remission. The findings were reported according to provider type (ie, primary care provider versus psychiatrist).


Bryan Dechairo, PhD, Myriad Genetics.

The IMPACT study found that patients with depression whose medication selection was guided by the GeneSight test saw improvements in remission, response, and symptoms when treated by either primary care physicians or psychiatrists. Additionally, patients treated by primary care physicians exhibited 33% more symptom improvement, 34% increased response, and 57% greater remission when compared to those treated by psychiatrists.

“Most patients with depression are treated by primary care providers who select antidepressant medications using a trial and error approach,” says Bryan Dechairo, PhD, executive vice president of clinical developmentat Myriad Genetics. “The IMPACT study demonstrated the clinical value of the GeneSight test to guide medication selection in the primary care setting and achieve better outcomes for patients.”

“In this study, the pharmacogenetic testing helped both psychiatrists and primary care providers achieve better outcomes for their patients, and the greatest improvements were observed in the primary care setting,” says James L. Kennedy, MD, lead investigator and head of the Tanenbaum Center for Pharmacogenetics at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto. “The significant factor in these differences across care settings may be that psychiatrists frequently care for more complex patients who may have more difficult to treat depression. Importantly, these results strongly support expanding the use of pharmacogenetic testing to patients who are treated by primary care providers.”

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most common mental disorders and can result in severe impairments that interfere with or limit one’s ability to carry out major life activities. MDD is defined as a period of two weeks or longer during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure, and at least four other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, self-image, or recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that more than 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

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  1. Tanner JA, Davies PE, Brown LC, Voudouris NC, Dechairo BM, Kennedy JL. Pharmacogenomics and depression symptom improvement: treatment by primary care physicians or psychiatrists [abstract]. Poster T24 presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Miami Beach, Fla, May 29–June 1, 2018. Available at: Accessed June 29, 2018.