Assurex Health Raises $30 Million Equity Round For Genetic Clinical Decision Support Platform

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Assurex Health, a genetics-based clinical decision support vendor operating in the pharmaceutical market, announces that it has closed a $30 million equity-backed financing round. The new funding was provided by returning investors Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Sequoia Capital, Claremont Creek Ventures, Mayo Clinic, CincyTech, Allos Ventures, and Danmar Capital. The round also made room for two new investors, American Financial Group and Cross Creek Advisors. The round brings Assurex’s total raised to $104 million since its 2006 launch.

Assurex is building a clinical decision support platform that helps clinicians chose the best medication for a patient based on genetic profiling. In recent years, researchers have found that some commonly prescribed medications are less effective in patients with certain genetic mutations. To help front-line clinicians take this new found information into consideration during prescribing, the company offers a cheek-swab gene test that evaluates a patients genome and helps providers chose an ideal medicationnt. Assurex ran a clinical trial in which its platform was used to support anti-depressant prescribing, and concluded that its platform led to a two-fold increase in patients responding to their medication.

Assurex has established genetics-based prescribing guidelines to support prescribing for behavioral health patients diagnosed with anxiety, depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. The company also offers guidance for doctors prescribing pain killers to treat chronic pain. The doctor swabs the patient’s cheek, and mails the sample to Assurex. In 36 hours, the doctor can log into the Assurex portal to view the patient’s results and chose an ideal medication.

Though the results seem promising, payment reform is going to be key to getting services like Assurex more widely adopted. Currently, the service is covered by only a handful of insurers. For those without coverage, patients are advised to sign a Patient Financial Consent form, have the test performed, and then let Assurex go after the insurance company for reimbursement. If the claim is denied or only partially covered, which is highly likely, Assurex says that it will turn to the patient to cover the remaining balance. Given that the doctors ordering the tests are typically going to be unable to bill the insurance company themselves for it, and that its going to create more out-of-pocket expenses for their patients, its unlikely that the tests will be heavily utilized until insurers recognize the value of performing them.


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