Genemarkers is proud to be a sponsor again for this year’s Gryphon Place Suicide Prevention Walk. This marks the 5th anniversary of the walk, and it will take place on Saturday, September 29th at Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo, MI, coinciding with National Suicide Prevention Month. The walk helps raise awareness for suicide prevention and supports the important work of Gryphon Place in helping those in crisis and conflict in the local Kalamazoo community. Learn more about Gryphon Place at gryphon.org.
Distinguished psychiatrist David Brendel, MD, PhD is a medical consultant for Genemarkers. Dr. Brendel is a Harvard trained, Board certified psychiatrist who specializes in treating individuals with impulse control disorders, bipolar disorder, major depression, psychosis, anxiety, substance abuse, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He is an award-winning educator in medical ethics and professionalism. His book, Healing Psychiatry: Bridging the Science/Humanism Divide, was published by the MIT Press. He is frequently interviewed by major media news outlets for his expertise as a clinical and academic psychiatrist. Dr. Brendel advises Genemarkers on current best practices in psychiatric diagnosis and treatment, as well as optimal use of pharmacogenomics in ensuring safe, humanistic, and effective care.
Genemarkers CEO Dr. Anna Langerveld recently joined the Advisory Board for the Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics Program at Manchester University. Manchester is the first university to offer a one-year Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics, an important step in this emerging field. The program prepares graduates for employment in the genetic testing and pharmaceutical industries on all aspects of pharmacogenomic testing, including sample accessioning and preparation, sample analysis, data storage, data mining and reporting, or to pursue a Ph.D. or a professional degree in fields like medicine, pharmacy or dentistry.
As a member of the Advisory Board, Dr. Langerveld will provide guidance and advising to address specific questions raised by program faculty and students and to identify the most pressing needs in PGX.
A private donor has awarded Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine a nearly $1.5 million grant to conduct a clinical study evaluating the clinical utility of pharmacogenomic testing in Kalamazoo’s community mental health population. The study is a collaboration between Kalamazoo Community Mental Health Substance Abuse Services (KCMHSAS), the Center for Clinical Research at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed), Genemarkers, LLC, and Ferris State University College of Pharmacy. The primary purpose of the study is to test whether providing doctors with information about an individual’s ability to respond to specific drugs based on their genetic make-up lessens their need for health care. The study will begin enrolling patients in early April.
Pharmacogenomics (PGX) is one aspect of Precision Medicine (PM) that focuses on the “right drug for the right person at the right time.” The test that will be conducted for the study determines how an individual’s genetic make-up affects certain drugs utilized to treat mental health issues in order to avoid adverse reactions and fine tune medication choices. This process of utilizing an individual’s genetic information to fine tune medications may assist in reducing adverse drug events and result in cost savings for prescription medications, emergency visits and hospitalizations. The study aligns with an initiative encouraged by the State of Michigan to combine care for mental health with physical health to benefit personal outcomes in patients with mental health concerns. “Using genetic testing to help guide our therapy is not new for us. What we don’t know is how much it really helps us keep patients healthy” says Dr. Mauli Verma, Psychiatrist with KCMH and Principal Investigator on the study. One of the major barriers to widespread adoption of PGX testing into routine clinical practice is the lack of studies that demonstrate clinical utility. This study is intended to contribute important information to address that gap in knowledge.
In this study, a comprehensive PGX panel will be utilized in order to align with the integration of physical and behavioral health objectives. Genemarkers, LLC receives the DNA samples of participating patients from KCMH, and performs the testing to analyze the mutations in genes that regulate an individual’s response to particular medications.
“Feedback from physicians has indicated that they find PGX testing useful in the treatment of their patients.” comments Dr. Anna Langerveld, President and CEO of Genemarkers, LLC, “This study will establish data-driven outcomes regarding clinical utility and cost management for an important patient population in our community.”
Testing results generated by Genemarkers, LLC are then analyzed and interpreted by local pharmacists from both OptiMed Pharmacy and WMed to produce personalized medicine recommendations for each patient. Results are shared with the patient’s health care provider who then determines what changes, if any, will take place in the patient’s prescription medications. After any necessary changes occur, patient’s health care costs over the next year will be compared to those of the year prior to determine if savings have occurred. “We are proud to be the grant recipient for this study, which is a collaborative effort to affect the health of our community. It aligns closely with our vision,” says WMed Founding Dean Hal Jenson, MD, MBA.
The WMed Center for Clinical Research was created to align with the medical school’s mission to educate and inspire the researchers of tomorrow, as well as to advance knowledge through innovation and discovery. Through collaboration with our community partners, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare, the Center for Clinical Research brings the latest and most advanced therapies to the region. Our team of physicians, nurses, and healthcare professionals has decades of clinical research experience in numerous therapeutic areas. Genemarkers, LLC is a leader in applying state-of-the-art technologies to enhance the utilization of genomics in health care, pharmaceutical research and consumer products. OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy is a privately-held healthcare entity with a longstanding history of pioneering novel patient care strategies in order to achieve optimal outcomes for patients and payers.
Dr. Anna Langerveld, Founder and CEO of Genemarkers, has been appointed as a member of the faculty of the new Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. Appointed at the rank of Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, her term is effective from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017. Congratulations, Anna!