The Medcan Clinic Launches First Pharmacogenomics Service in Ontario

    Personalizing Medications is Expected to Help People with Mental Illness

    TORONTO, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - The Medcan Clinic unveiled its leading-edge
Pharmacogenomics services today in recognition of Mental Illness Awareness
Week. By using a simple blood test, Medcan's genetic experts will work with
patients and doctors to choose the most appropriate therapy to match a
patient's unique genetic make-up.
    Pharmacogenomics studies how specific genetic variants can affect an
individual's ability to metabolize medications. For patients taking
anti-depressants and anti-psychotic medications, this will help identify which
medications will be effective, what dose is best to start at, and what
medications to try to avoid. Using this information, the goal is to reduce
side effects and improve medication compliance leading to a better quality of
    "Each person responds differently to medications. A dose of one drug that
cures one person may produce serious side-effects for someone else.
Pharmacogenomics is evidence-based medicine that can be used by doctors to
reduce trial and error prescribing and predict which medications are least
likely to produce adverse side-effects and are best suited to the patient,"
said Dr. Lea Velsher, Geneticist with the Medcan Clinic.
    Medcan's genetics team will also work with patients and their doctors to
maximize therapy in other areas where Pharmacogenomics has proven to be
effective, such as pain and chemotherapy medications, and anticoagulant
medications, such as coumadin.
    "We are excited to be leading the way with this cutting-edge service. We
believe that what we are offering today is just the tip of the genomic
iceberg. In the future, we believe that we will be able use Pharmacogenomics
to maximize therapies for all kinds of different conditions in this new era of
personalized medicine," said Dr. James Aw, Medical Director of the Medcan

    About Medcan Genetics:

    Medcan Genetics is a state-of-the-art program that combines classical
genetics with genomics and integrates them with all aspects of a client's
healthcare. The program's key services include:

    -   Genetic services from preconception through adult life
    -   Pedigree analysis and risk assessment for common conditions such as
        cancer or Alzheimer's Disease
    -   Pharmacogenomics to determine the optimum dosing of medications

    About Medcan:

    The Medcan Clinic is a leading preventive health care clinic focused on
identifying health risks before signs and symptoms occur. Medcan offers
individuals, families and corporate executives the most thorough head-to-toe
medical assessment on the market, performed by a top-quality clinical team in
a single 4 hour visit. Medcan also provides an array of in-house health and
wellness services, such as diagnostic imaging, genetics, optometry, fitness
and nutritional counseling, to customize patients' medical care and optimize
healthy outcomes. Patients benefit from Medcan's in-house specialists and
extensive referral network.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Bronwen Evans, Vice-President,
Corporate Affairs, The Medcan Clinic, (416) 350-8374,

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Medcan Clinic

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