Genomic test for PTSD: Sanford Health announces partnership

Contact:
Angela Dejene
Sanford Health
(218) 280-0148 / angela.dejene@sanfordhealth.org

Jen Williams
TruGenomix
(802) 355-5072 / jen.williams@trugenomix.com

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., July 23, 2020 — Sanford Health, the largest provider of rural health care in the country, today announced an $800,000 investment in TruGenomix, a veteran-owned precision behavioral health company.

As part of the strategic partnership, Sanford Health will support TruGenomix by providing its state-of-the-art lab and research capabilities to validate a first-to-market patented blood test for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The genomic test enables earlier identification and improves outcomes for high-risk populations, including veterans, active-duty service members, front-line health care workers, and first responders.

“We know genomic medicine will fundamentally change the way we deliver care,” said Nathan Peterson, chief of staff, vice president, strategic planning and governance, Sanford Health. “We are honored to partner with TruGenomix and share in its commitment to provide personalized medicine solutions that improve the lives, health and future of our military service members, front-line health care workers, veterans and their families.”

Sanford Imagenetics will sequence 2,000 samples using TruGen-1, a laboratory-developed blood test (LDT), which is based on decades of research culminating in a patent for gene expression biomarker profiles that identify an individual’s risk of developing PTSD. These biomarkers were discovered and validated using blood samples from a diverse population of individuals who have experienced extreme trauma, including 9/11 first responders, military service members, sexual assault survivors and Holocaust survivors and their descendants.

“We cannot prevent trauma, but we can reduce suffering by identifying those at higher risk,” said Charles Cathlin, CEO and co-founder, TruGenomix. “We can think of no better partner than Sanford Health to support us in the further development and commercialization of our genomic test that will allow clinicians to intervene earlier, deliver more targeted treatment for behavioral health disorders, and save lives.”

PTSD can affect anyone at any age. One out of 11 Americans suffers from PTSD, with a higher prevalence reported in veterans, soldiers and first responders. The incidence of PTSD is rising amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for health care workers and others on the front lines. Women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Amid Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, TruGenomix’s African American, U.S. veteran and female founders and executive team are dedicated to serving these populations and to advocating for more minority representation in leadership roles within the field of genomics.

Sanford Health and TruGenomix also will pursue contract and development opportunities in the genetic-testing field.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States, is dedicated to the integrated delivery of health care, genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization includes 44 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and nine countries. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford have transformed how Sanford Health improves the human condition. For information, visit sanfordhealth.org.

About Sanford Imagenetics

Sanford Imagenetics is a comprehensive program that fully integrates genetics with primary care internal medicine. The three main components of this innovative program include enhancing clinical care for our patients, conducting groundbreaking research in genomic and molecular medicine and establishing novel educational programs to meet the clinical genetics and genomic workforce needs of the region. Sanford Imagenetics was established in 2014 thanks to a generous gift of $125 million from Denny Sanford.

About TruGenomix

TruGenomix is bringing behavioral health care into the 21st century. Our mission is to save lives, reduce suffering, and eradicate stigma from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through earlier and more effective diagnosis and treatment of PTSD and other behavioral health disorders. Learn more at TruGenomix.com and stay connected at @TruGenomixInc.