Pharmacogenomics (PGx) combines pharmacology (the study of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions) and involves how variations in a person's DNA can affect their response to drugs. From occasional pain, to anesthesia needs, to chronic disease management, most people at some point turn to medication for relief or necessary intervention. But we know that people respond to medications differently. That is because variations in key genes in a person's DNA can affect how they respond to medications. Your DNA codes for genes, and certain genes direct the production of enzymes required to metabolize (break down) medications. These enzymes influence how effective a drug might be for you and how likely you are to experience negative side effects. By looking at what bases are present (genotype) at certain locations (rsIDs) can help identify whether you will make more enzyme than other people (ultrarapid metabolizer) or less enzyme than other people (poor metabolizer). Over 90% of people carry at least 1 genetic variant that should prompt a change in dosing or medication, including pain relievers, antidepressants and blood thinners. Pharmacogenomics can help guide doctors in determining which medications will be best for you.
Let's look at just one example, the CYP2D6 gene. This gene codes for an enzyme that is responsible for the metabolism of about 25% of all medications. Around 8% of the population completely lack enzyme activity, and they will metabolize medicines that rely on CYP2D6 much slower than average; around 2% of people have more than two copies of the gene, and they will metabolize medicines that rely on CYP2D6 much faster than average. This single gene interacts with antidepressants, antibiotics, antipsychotics, antihistamines, and medications for blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, pain management and heart conditions. But rather than include all potential drugs that might be problematic, we provide the information to the customer specifically as it relates to their current medication list.
Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) represent the fourth leading cause of death in the US. For example, despite ensuring the correct diagnosis, adequate dose and medication adherence, fewer than half of patients with depression respond to the initial antidepressant they are prescribed. When researches looked closer, they found that nearly 80% of people who failed on antidepressants were prescribed a "genetically sub-optimal medication" that prevented them from attaining mental health and wellness. In fact, a recent large-scale analysis showed that 75% of people taking at least one medication, were on a drug for which genotype-based prescribing is available. Pharmacogenomics offers a valuable tool to help evaluate which medications will be ineffective, or that will have adverse reactions. Nearly 20% of medications have pharmacogenomic recommendations, including many commonly prescribed drugs.
Most direct-to-consumer DNA testing companies offer limited or no pharmacogenomic information in their reports. Comprehensive pharmacogenomic reports are offered by various commercial companies but they are expensive and have lengthy turn-around times. MyGenomeRx is dedicated to delivering rapid and accurate information on how an individual's DNA may alter the way they respond to certain medications thereby providing a more customized approach to their treatment. MyGenomeRx provides an inexpensive online educational tool to help navigate medication based on direct-to-consumer genetic test results. MyGenomeRx provides consumers with educational information about potential gene-drug interactions using raw DNA files obtained from their Direct-to-Consumer genetic test results and self-provided medication lists. Three reports are offered, one that provides information on drug-drug information based on the provided medication list, one that broadly outlines pharmacogenomic issues based on the clients' DNA, and one that details gene-drug issues based on the client's DNA and self-provided medication list. In seconds, the MyGenomeRx platform screens an individual's provided genetic data for variants in 2038 genes, scanning over 1 million rsIDs to provide clinically relevant gene-drug compatibility information based on the provided medication list.
MyGenomeRx is committed to helping consumers unlock clinical information found within the genetic information they already have in-hand from commercial DNA testing companies like Ancestry or 23andme, their raw DNA files. MyGenomeRx collects data from sources such as CPIC.org, PharmGKB.org, PharmVar.org, PGRN.org, as well as material collated from sources such as the NHGRI-EBI GWAS Catalog, NCBI ClinVar website and FDA labels. Using this information along with a proprietary computer algorithm, a client's privately uploaded genetic information, and their personal medication report, we provide personalized information detailing the molecular variants that can impact their response to medications directly to the consumer.
Annette Gilchrist, PhD
Dimitra Georganopoulou, PhD
MyGenomeRx was founded by a Molecular Pharmacologist, an IT Entrepreneur, and a Commercialization expert. Dr. Annette Gilchrist, PhD, teaches courses on the pharmacology/medicinal chemistry of oncology drugs, and pharmacogenomics at Midwestern University. Previously, Dr. Gilchrist founded Cue Biotech, a drug screening company, and Caden Biosciences, a biological tools company. She serves as an International Editor for the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and has authored numerous scientific articles, patents, book chapters, and books. Christopher Norys is an IT expert in distributed systems and natural language processing. He is a serial entrepreneur having helped build several tech startups using SaaS products including crypto, EdTech, healthcare, and FinTech. Mr. Norys also co-founded BioBlaze, a community bio lab. Dr. Dimitra Georganopoulou, PhD is an experienced biotech professional with deep knowledge of personalized medicine projects, medical devices, diagnostics, Health IT and therapeutics. Previously, Dr. Georganopoulou was Director of Commercialization at INVO at Northwestern University, responsible for licenses and startup creation. Prior to that, she served as VP of Research and then CBO for Ohmx, a clinical diagnostic company. The management team at MyGenomeRx is passionate about making personalized medicine accessible and relevant to the consumer.