GeneSightRx® Adoption Driving Continued Expansion
CINCINNATI, Sept. 7, 2011 – AssureRx Health, Inc., today announced three additions to its senior management team. These additions coincide with increasing adoption of GeneSightRx® pharmacogenetic testing aimed at assisting healthcare providers manage side effects and drug selection for patients requiring antidepressant or antipsychotic medication therapy.”We are encouraged by the rapid adoption and positive feedback from psychiatrists and other prescribers of psychotropic medications throughout the U.S. regarding our pharmacogenomic solutions for neuropsychiatric patients,” said James S. Burns, president and CEO of AssureRx. “Our new team members will substantially bolster our capabilities in psychiatric pharmacogenomics, psychotropic drug discovery and development, pharmacogenetic product development, commercialization, marketing, sales and financing. Our goal is to build the leading medical informatics company providing pharmacogenetic and other treatment decision support products to help physicians individualize treatment for neuropsychiatric and other disorders. Strengthening the leadership team with C. Anthony Altar, Ph.D., Karen Schellin, C.P.A., and Alex Burgess, will further the company’s ability to deliver value to healthcare providers and help clinicians improve patient care.”The senior appointments of chief science officer, vice president of finance and vice president of marketing will support AssureRx plans to expand direct sales and marketing for GeneSightRx, which provides clinically relevant point of care information to help physicians select the right drug while managing side effects for individual neuropsychiatric patients. The new appointments will also support the financing and development of second-generation products.
C. Anthony Altar, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Chief Science Officer
C. Anthony (Tony) Altar, Ph.D., has joined AssureRx Health as chief science officer responsible for research and development of multiple products, and for the Company’s interactions with the scientific, psychiatric, and pharmaceutical development communities. Before joining AssureRx, Tony led the Alere Inc. and Blanchette Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute collaboration to develop diagnostic assays and initiate a multi-site clinical trial for Alzheimer’s dementia. At Ciba-Geigy, he identified the serotonin/dopamine receptor binding profile of atypical antipsychotics, known as the SDA concept. His research at Genentech and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals supported clinical trials for brain-derived neurotrophic factors, including BDNF in diabetic neuropathy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. As global director for neuroscience at Otsuka, Tony managed the discovery teams and, in partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb, developed and obtained FDA approval for the antipsychotic medication Abilify. As CSO and president of Psychiatric Genomics Inc., his teams discovered gene expression signatures of schizophrenia and validated drug targets for its control. He has published numerous neuroscience and drug discovery articles in journals including Science and Nature. Tony earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and during his post-doctoral training at UC Irvine, pioneered image analysis of receptor-drug binding in the brain.
Karen E. Schellin, Vice President of Finance
Karen E. Schellin has joined AssureRx as vice president of finance. She is responsible for all accounting, financial operations and human resource activities. Prior to joining AssureRx, Schellin was the associate vice president of operations for EyeMed Vision Care, a managed vision care company and division of Luxottica Retail. She was a member of the senior leadership team responsible for setting strategic direction and leadership of all healthcare operations, including enrollment, claims, billing, payment processing, provider operations, customer care and systems planning. Prior to that, Karen was the company’s associate vice president, finance. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northern Kentucky University and is a certified public accountant.
Alexander H. Burgess, Vice President of Marketing
Alex Burgess has joined AssureRx as vice president of marketing. He is responsible for all corporate marketing activities, including brand management, communications, advertising, demand generation, product marketing and market intelligence. Prior to joining the company, Burgess was the director of corporate marketing at MedAssurant Inc., a leading healthcare data analytics company supporting health plans, pharmaceutical, bioscience and device manufacturing companies. Alex was responsible for establishing the company’s first integrated strategic marketing programs incorporating social media into the lead generation mix that resulted in substantial new revenue. Alex was previously vice president of marketing at DocSite LLC, a disease registry and connectivity company, where he was responsible for all marketing activities and partnership development. While there, he launched the industry-leading online service focused on quality reporting that facilitated provider participation in CMS’ Physician Quality Reporting Initiative bonus program. He was also a regional vice president of sales for ELM Exchange Inc., a provider of online clinicolegal education services to physicians and malpractice insurance companies. Alex holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Military College of South Carolina, The Citadel.
GeneSight is a laboratory developed pharmacogenomic test that uses cutting edge technology to measure and analyze clinically important genomic variants in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. The results of the GeneSight report can help a clinician understand the way a patient’s unique genomic makeup may affect certain psychiatric drugs. The analysis is based on pharmacogenomics, the study of genomic factors that influence an individual’s response to drug treatments, FDA approved manufacturer’s drug labels, peer-reviewed scientific and clinical publications, and proven drug pharmacology. Quick turnaround time, combined with a customized report of the patient’s genomic makeup, clinical experience and other factors can help a physician make personalized drug treatment choices for each patient.
About AssureRx Health, Inc.
AssureRx Health, Inc. is a personalized medicine company that specializes in pharmacogenomics dedicated to helping physicians determine the right drug for individual patients suffering from neuropsychiatric and other disorders. The company was founded to commercialize industry-leading personalized medicine technology for neuropsychiatric disorders. Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center are equity holders and technology collaborators.