September 6, 2016

AZ Business Magazine

Life-saving genetics test now available to veterans

Scottsdale-based Advanced Genomic Solutions (AGS), an international leader in Pharmacogenomics (PGx), announced an agreement with Genelex, the makers of YouScript, to bring the life-saving benefits of PGxtesting to veterans and their doctors.

Pharmacogenomics (PGx), the study of how an individual’s genetic makeup affects their response to drugs, can help get veterans on the correct medications and start saving lives immediately.

Every day an average of 22 veterans commit suicide. Many of these veterans are unknowingly prescribed the wrong medications, which can contribute to worsening depression associated with PTSD, suicidal ideation and other mental health issues.

PGx testing is gaining praise within the medical community, because it allows physicians to identify which medications their patients’ will fail to process appropriately. With a simple cheek swab to collect a DNA sample, doctors can avoid the trial and error prescribing process and choose appropriate medications to achieve the desired results more rapidly.

AGS is a champion for veterans and is bringing them ready access to this revolutionary technology. While VA physicians have the ability to prescribe the test to veterans, few are aware of test availability or fully understand the benefits it offers.

Helping veterans is more than good policy to AGS leadership; it’s personal. Lance Bennett, managing partner at AGS, is a West Point graduate and former U.S. Military Intelligence Officer.

“In the U.S alone, AGS completed more than 5,000 patient tests in 2015, but not one of those tests were for a veteran,” Bennett said. “Partnering with Genelex to promote the PGx test will have a hugely positive impact on the lives of veterans in this area, as well as the physicians that work so hard to provide them excellent care.”

To help Veterans in Phoenix within the Southwest district, AGS has entered into an agreement with Genelex to help increase the number of local veterans and physicians using PGx testing.

“We’re thrilled to join with the talented and dedicated team at AGS to help veterans in the Southwest take advantage of Genelex’s YouScript driven PGX testing,” said Howard Coleman, chairman of Genelex. “We expect, with AGS’ ‘boots on the ground’ assistance, that medical facilities in the Southwest will serve as a national model for how to bring the benefits of PGx testing to veterans nationwide, and we’ll be able to expand the offering much more rapidly.”