Castle Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSTL), a company improving health through innovative tests that guide patient care, today announced a collaboration with Camille Schrier, Miss America 2020, to promote the potential of genetic testing and the IDgenetix® test to help improve treatment for mental health conditions. The Company recently added IDgenetix, a pharmacogenomic (PGx) test for mental health conditions, to its portfolio of commercial tests.
“This campaign seeks to help patients suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions to improve their chances of a beneficial medication response”
Schrier has long suffered from anxiety and depression, and from a genetic condition that causes chronic pain. She has been taking antidepressant drugs for more than a decade, but results from an IDgenetix test showed that the dose of her current medication could be improved; she is now working with her clinician to find the best course of action. “IDgenetix has given me new hope for easing what has been a lifelong struggle,” said Schrier.
Started by the Mental Health America organization in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month is designed to help increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in the U.S. Yet, anxiety and depression rates continue to increase.1 To support this annual event, and promote education and advocacy for mental health awareness, Schrier will chronicle her journey by describing the changes in her medication based on the IDgenetix test and how those changes have affected her symptoms and her life.
“This campaign seeks to help patients suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions to improve their chances of a beneficial medication response,” Schrier continued. “IDgenetix is unique in that it is designed to account not only for genetic variants, but also for interactions with multiple medications.”
In a randomized controlled trial, patients diagnosed with depression who were assessed with the IDgenetix test showed a >2.5 times improvement in remission rates compared to those who did not have their genes tested with IDgenetix. The test is designed to identify genes shown to determine how quickly or slowly the body processes certain medications. IDgenetix also assesses possible drug-drug interactions, which is incorporated into the test’s bioinformatics analysis. Using the IDgenetix test report, doctors may be able to more precisely tailor treatments to individual patients, rather than relying on trial and error, thus potentially reducing the chances of side effects or ineffective treatments.
“We are thrilled Camille has agreed to collaborate with Castle for the benefit of patients suffering with mental health conditions,” said Derek Maetzold, president and chief executive officer of Castle Biosciences. “Camille’s personal story as both a patient with depression and future pharmacist makes her a powerful advocate. She will help us spread our message of hope to millions of patients who may suffer from unresolved symptoms, while educating physicians looking to precision medicine to move past trial and error and potentially improve chances of response or remission.”
IDgenetix is a pharmacogenomic (PGx) test for depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions designed to analyze a patient’s genetic make-up to guide timely and evidence-based decisions on the optimal drug for each patient. IDgenetix is designed to provide important genetic information to clinicians to help guide personalized treatment plans for their patients, with the potential to help patients achieve a faster therapeutic response and improve their chances of remission by identifying appropriate medications more efficiently than the standard of care trial-and-error approach. IDgenetix provides drug-drug and drug-gene interactions and is supported by a published, peer-reviewed randomized controlled trial that demonstrated clinical utility over the standard of care when physicians used IDgenetix prior to prescribing a medication. IDgenetix is currently reimbursed by Medicare for the following eight mental health conditions: major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
To learn more, please visit www.IDgenetix.com.