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LifeLabs and GenXys partner to make pharmacogenetic testing services available to Canadians

Pharmacogenetic testing and a smart online tool help doctors prescribe the right medications at the right dose from diagnosis for Canadians

Toronto, ON – June 12, 2017- Prescribing the right medication for an individual is complex and the wrong medication or an incorrect dose can have serious health consequences for patients. There hasn't been an easy way for physicians to access all of the information they need to prescribe the right drug at the right dose at the time of diagnosis—until now. LifeLabs is pleased to announce a new partnership with GenXys Health Care Systems to offer Canadians a personalized medicine service that helps their physicians prescribe medications based on each patient's specific medical and genetic profile.

This simple testing service uses a cheek swab to collect a patient's DNA. Samples are submitted by patients to LifeLabs where they are analyzed for 60 genetic variations that affect how a patient metabolizes and responds to medications.

TreatGxPlus software integrates the patient's unique pharmacogenetic data with non-genetic information such as age, weight, blood pressure, allergies, other medical conditions, or medications the patient might be taking. TreatGxPlus combines the patient's genetic and non-genetic information with the latest reliable evidence about the safety and effectiveness of more than 750 drugs to inform patients and their doctors about the safe drug options available to the individual and the effective dose at the point of prescribing.

A 2014 study found that 8% of emergency room visits were due to harmful side effects of prescribed drugs or incorrect prescriptions. In Canada, adverse drug reactions (ADRs) cause 10,000 to 22,000 deaths and cost the Canadian healthcare system over $13 billion per year. The TreatGxPlus service includes evidence for over 750 medications used to treat over 30 of the most common conditions (such as depression, hypertension, and osteoarthritis), giving health care practitioners the power to safely and effectively treat common conditions and prevent ADRs. This testing service will save time and money for our health care system and patients, and it will save lives.

This revolutionary approach to medication management, is leading Canada into a new age of personalized medicine where treatments are specifically tailored to each patient's profile – including their DNA.

"Advancements in technology allow us to provide services and information specifically tailored to the unique characteristics of every patient." says Sue Paish, CEO at LifeLabs. "Partnering with GenXys positions Canada as a leader in personalized medicine and gives Canadians and their healthcare providers more confidence in the effectiveness of their medical treatment, putting less strain on our health care system."

There are more than 150 medications that now carry warnings about potential adverse effects caused by genetic variations, but without knowing a patient's genetic make-up, a doctor cannot act upon them. "This is a tremendous opportunity to improve how we prescribe medication," says Dr. Martin Dawes, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of GenXys and Professor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia. "The data gleaned about patients' DNA used in combination with the TreatGxPlus decision support software will provide personalized medication options at the point of diagnosis with convenient dosing and cost information."

Through our partnership with GenXys, LifeLabs is making pharmacogenetic testing available to Canadians, introducing personalized care that will result in tailored treatment plans and improved health outcomes. What's more, this testing service is a completely Canadian solution: it has been researched, developed and funded by Canadian sources and is being offered to Canadians by a Canadian lab, making Canada a global leader in this next generation of medicine and health care. 

For further information please visit LifeLabs Genetics

About LifeLabs: www.LifeLabs.com

LifeLabs is a Canadian-owned company with over 50 years of experience providing laboratory testing services to help healthcare providers diagnose, treat, monitor and prevent disease in patients. In communities across British Columbia and Ontario, LifeLabs delivers cost-effective, convenient access to laboratory testing services essential for optimal outcomes in healthcare. LifeLabs employs approximately 5,400 professionally trained staff and delivers over 100 million laboratory tests, supporting over 19 million patient visits annually. LifeLabs is the largest community laboratory in Canada. LifeLabs is indirectly owned by OMERS Administration Corporation, whose interest is managed by Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc. In addition to being the first community lab to conduct non-invasive prenatal testing in Canada, LifeLabs is the first lab to provide online appointment booking for patients, non-fasting protocols and secure, on-line access to lab results for patients. For more information about LifeLabs, visit: www.LifeLabs.com.

About GenXys: www.genxys.com

GenXys Health Care Systems was founded and developed in Canada by a team of experts in evidence-based health care, human genetics, pharmacy, and software development, at the University of British Columbia. Their vision is to improve health outcomes through personalized medication management with the use of a medication decision support system.

For further information please visit GenXys Health Care Systems

About the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine: www.med.ubc.ca

Faculty members, students, staff and alumni in the UBC Faculty of Medicine are actively engaged in innovative, leading edge research, education and community service on university and hospital campuses across the Province. Together we aim to create knowledge and advance learning that will make a vital contribution to the health of individuals and communities, locally, nationally, and internationally.

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