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Study Finds Improved MDD Outcomes With Pharmacogenomic Test

September 13, 2020

Pharmacogenomic testing using the using GeneSight Psychotropic test was associated with improved outcomes in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who failed to improve with previous antidepressant treatment, according to a meta-analysis presented in a poster at Psych Congress 2020.

“Pharmacogenomic testing is a potential tool to inform clinicians’ treatment decisions for patients with major depressive disorder,” researchers explained. “However, there is mixed evidence available for the utility of pharmacogenomic testing depending on the test used and population studied. Given the differences between tests, evaluation of pharmacogenomic testing as a class may not reflect the utility of an individual test.”

The meta-analysis focused specifically on 4 prospective, 2-arm studies that examined the utility of the GeneSight Psychotropic test to guide treatment decisions in adults with MDD and least 1 medication failure. The meta-analysis spanned 1556 patients.

Patients with care guided by GeneSight testing had significantly improved outcomes, compared with patients without GeneSight-guided care, results showed. 

On the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the pooled mean effect of symptom improvement was 10.08% with GeneSight-guided care. Researchers also reported a pooled relative risk ratio of 1.40 for response and 1.49 for remission with care guided by GeneSight results.

“GeneSight-informed care improved outcomes among patients with major depressive disorder who had at least one prior medication failure,” researchers wrote. “Additional research evaluating the value of GeneSight in other psychiatric diseases are warranted.”

Myriad Genetics Inc. sponsored the study.

—Jolynn Tumolo


Brown L, Vranjkovic O, Li J, et al. The clinical utility of combinatorial pharmacogenomic testing for patients with depression: a meta-analysis. Poster presented at Psych Congress 2020; September 10-13, 2020; Virtual.

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