Phoenix Laboratory Services

Fundraise to open a direct-to-consumer pharmacogeneti...

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What is pharmacogenetics?

Pharmacogenetics is the study of how your genes influence your response to medications. Your genes determine two things: (a) what your body does to a medication and (b) what a medication does to your body.

What your body does to a medication. Some of our genes encode enzymes--cellular machines--that break medications down into pieces in a process known as drug metabolism. These pieces are typically useless and pass out of your body naturally over time. This is why, for instance, you take ibuprofen every 8 hours, because that's the amount of time it takes the average person to work through most of the dose. Some medications, known as prodrugs, have to be broken into pieces before they become effective. An example is hydrocodone which, on its own, has a little effect as a pain reliever, but is broken into hydromorphone and the more familiar morphine, which are much stronger pain relievers.

So what happens if your genes are a little different? Small changes in your genes can make a big difference in how your enzyme machines function. Some changes lead to faster metabolism, others slow it down, and still others can stop it altogether. Now imagine that dose of ibuprofen. Someone who can't break the drug down may get pain relief for a longer time or may experience side effects after repeated doses, as the drug builds up in the body. Someone who can't break down hydrocodone will be less likely to get the pain relief they need and will also experience side effects after repeated or increased dosing.

Sometimes our genes carry changes that make our metabolism of drugs faster. In this case, a person may need a higher dosage of a particular drug, including many antidepressants and blood pressure medications, to obtain the desired effect.

What a medication does to your body. Pharmacogenetics can sometimes provide insight into whether or not a medication, once it gets where it needs to go, will have any effect at all. Let's say a dose of hydrocodone has been broken down into its component parts and now the morphine is knocking on the brain's door, looking to speak with a particular receptor. If that receptor is broken, the drug can knock all day long and will have little to no effect.

Now, pharmacogenomics cannot yet answer all our questions about why we respond to certain drugs and not others, or why some of us experience rotten side effects with medications that others can take with ease. Your pharmacogenetic profile can provide insights into the likelihood of your response to medications, though, and this is valuable when you and your doctor and pharmacist are trying to choose the right medication and the right dose for you.

Quick Pitch

Phoenix is about to turn the world of pharmacogenetic testing on its head, but we need your help to make it happen!

Most labs charge high fees for testing services and are in a constant struggle with third-party payers who are reluctant to pay. Physicans often don't see the value of testing, and who can blame them? Submitting kits and requisitions, with all your personal health and insurance information takes up staff time that doctors don't want to pay for. Plus, the reports are either too brief to be useful or too long to be grasped quickly. Reports are also static--sure, your genes won't change, but your health and medications might.

Where does that leave you, the consumer? Well, it leaves you without the solid information that could help you, your doctor, and your pharmacist make smart decisions about your medications, now and in the future.

Phoenix has chosen to come to you, the consumer, with a test and live report offered at a fraction of what other labs charge because our costs of operation are low. We're not in this to get rich, we're in this to help you take charge of your healthcare. We hope you'll help us make this dream a reality by supporting us as we open a new laboratory dedicated to YOU. The more support we have from YOU, the less we need to rely on debt. The less we rely on debt, the better service we can provide for YOU, SOONER!

Product/Service Details

Phoenix will offer a pharmacogenetic test designed to cover the genes and variants with the strongest scientific support--we will not pad the panel with fluff, just so we can charge you more money. In fact, every test is charged at the same low price. What you'll receive is a genetic test report that describes your particular genotype and how that genotype may influence your response to hundreds of medications.

All of this is based on publically available information, but we package it in an easy-to-read format that allows you to ask direct questions and find solid answers at your fingertips.

For an added subscription premium (which you can pay at the time of testing or any time in the future), you'll be given access to updated information and will have the ability to tailor your report based on any new conditions or medications you and your providers may be considering.

Subscriptions will support the development of a smartphone app that will allow you to take your interactive report with you, wherever life takes you.

Traction & Accomplishments

I have been in the pgx business for 9 years. I've been through inspections, developed FDA quality systems, and developed dozens of tests. I've also partnered with several software developers with vast experience in pharmacogenetics test interpretation and product development. Phoenix's latest accomplishments include the launch of three new pharmacogenetic testing laboratories, all of which are fluorishing.

How We're Different

We're different because we are prepared to think in new ways.

We're not thinking of you last, after figuring out how to incentivize doctors and wangle more dollars out of insurance payers.

We're looking for ways to ensure YOU have access to the most valuable pieces of your own genetic information, while charging you less and giving you a better-quality test. Our goal is to give YOU the power to put your own genetic information to use.

Team

Bronwyn R. Hartung, PhD - Chief Problem Solver

Knowledge. Experience. Integrity 


Phoenix Laboratory Consulting is owned and managed by Bronwyn Ramey-Hartung, PhD, out of a private office near Louisville, KY. Dr. Ramey has more than 15 years of laboratory experience in academic and clinical laboratories, with specific expertise in molecular genetics assay design, validation, and troubleshooting, as well as raw data analysis, phenotype interpretation, and reporting. Pharmacogenetic specialties include CYP450 haplotyping and copy number analysis. Dr. Ramey also has experience in the development and quality systems management of LIMS, translational reporting, and medical device software.


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