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Genetic test announced for suicidal ideation in patients using antidepressant drugs
Date:9/27/2007

Boulder, CO, October 1, 2007 NeuroMark, a Boulder, Colorado company, announced today the immediate availability of a genetic test to identify people at risk of suicidal ideationthoughts of committing suicidewhen prescribed an antidepressant drug. The test, called the Mark-C test, is expected to help restore public confidence in antidepressant medication and help to reduce a recently announced spike in suicide rates among U.S. youth. This is an exciting example of the power of genetics to address a critical need and make important drugs safer for patients worldwide, stated Kim Bechthold, NeuroMarks CEO.

In September 2007, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), announced that in 2004 there was a 8% rise in suicide rates among 10-19 year olds, the year that the FDA issued public health warnings linking antidepressant drugs with suicidal ideation and behavior. The largest percentage increase in rates from 2003 to 2004 was among females aged 1014 (75.9%), followed by females aged 1519 years (32.3%) and males aged 1519 years (9%), according to the CDC.

In a statement, the company said, We feel a sense of responsibility, given the current climate, to provide the test to physicians immediately so that they may identify patients who would benefit from closer monitoring or even a change in therapy. It is our hope that this early test will encourage more people to consider antidepressant drug treatment who would benefit from it.

Before the NeuroMark test, we couldnt differentiate between the subset of patients who were at risk of suicidal ideation and those who could more safely take an antidepressant drug, stated NeuroMark president Dr. Peter Tolias. The Mark-C test is highly predictive and identifies citalopram-treated patients who are at high risk for suicidal ideation. The test also identifies people at low risk, giving the physician more confidence in prescribing citalopram, he added.

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Contact: Suzanne Lane
slane@thelcgroup.com
212-757-6880
The Lane Communications Group
Source:Eurekalert

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