Invitae to Acquire YouScript and Genelex to Make it Easier to Use Pharmacogenetic Information at the Point of Care
Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA), a leading medical genetics company, has announced it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire YouScript, a privately held clinical decision support and analytics platform, and Genelex, a privately held pharmacogenetic testing company, to bring best-in-class pharmacogenetic testing, and robust, integrated clinical decision support to Invitae. Pharmacogenetic testing evaluates genetic variations that can impact how an individual responds to prescription medication.
Invitae’s (NVTA) mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medical practice to improve the quality of healthcare for billions of people. www.invitae.com (PRNewsFoto/Invitae Corporation)
“Adding pharmacogenetics to Invitae’s services enables us to offer greater value to our existing customers and helps us expand into new customer types and clinical areas,” said Sean George, co-founder and chief executive officer of Invitae. “Despite its broad utility, the incorporation of pharmacogenetic information into routine medical care has been slow. We believe that Invitae’s business model and technological capabilities, combined with an offering designed for ease of use in supporting clinical care, can accelerate the use of pharmacogenetic information. This is an exciting next step in our mission to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medical care.”
Pharmacogenetic variants with medical implications are very common. For example, a cross-sectional study of more than 7.7 million U.S. veterans published in 2019 found that 99% of individuals in the Veteran Health Administration system carry at least one actionable pharmacogenetic variant. Furthermore, over half of the individuals had been prescribed a drug for which deciding to use the drug or determining the proper dosage would be affected by relevant pharmacogenetic information.1 Routine pharmacogenetic testing can provide clinicians with information to improve treatment and reduce the possibility of adverse events, particularly for patients with complex medication regimens or co-existing conditions.
“Pharmacogenetic information becomes clinically actionable when the complex web of multifactor interactions, including drug-drug and drug-gene, is used to characterize risk and benefit,” said Robert Nussbaum, M.D., chief medical officer of Invitae. “Simply detecting pharmacogenetic variation is not nearly enough to make the information clinically useful. Combining Genelex testing with clinical decision support in the EMR using YouScript software enables clinicians to easily navigate this information when making prescription choices at the point of care.”
YouScript offers an innovative clinical decision support tool for healthcare providers that can assist in patient medication management at the point of care. The software pairs a patient’s pharmacogenetic profile with published drug and gene interaction information to assess the risk for adverse drug events and possible side effects. Clinicians receive information, alerts, and possible medication alternatives in real-time through a clear and concise interactive interface to help optimize medication choice to improve patient care. YouScript is integrated with major electronic medical record (EMR) systems, including Epic, Cerner, and Allscripts.
In addition to providing clinical support at the patient level, health systems can use YouScript at population scale to identify patient populations at highest risk for adverse events. The software identifies those patients who are most likely to benefit from pharmacogenetic testing based on their drug regimen. The utilization of YouScript’s software, in combination with Genelex pharmacogenetic testing, has been shown to reduce adverse events, costs and hospital readmissions in peer-reviewed published studies.
“Our clinical decision support tool is focused on giving clinicians the most comprehensive, evidence-based information in an actionable, easy-to-use format. This enables the safest, most informed decision for their patient in real time, within the workflow,” said Kristine Ashcraft, chief executive officer of YouScript. “Joining forces with Genelex and Invitae will allow us to help a larger number of clinicians use genetics not just for the few but as a routine practice for all their patients.”
Genelex offers pharmacogenetic testing that analyzes the genes that are important for understanding variation in how people metabolize and respond differently to prescription medications. The testing process includes pharmacist review, patient- and clinician-facing reports, as well as access to clinical decision support for the treating provider.
“Accelerating the use of genetic information to inform treatment choices is essential for realizing the power of genetics in mainstream medicine,” said Chris Howlett, chief executive officer of Genelex. “The combination of Genelex’s expertise in pharmacogenetics, YouScript’s advanced clinical decision support and Invitae’s expertise in delivering genetic information that is affordable and accessible at scale enables us to help more clinicians and their patients benefit from genetics-informed treatment choice.”
Under the definitive agreements, Invitae will acquire YouScript for approximately $79.3 million, subject to certain adjustments, consisting of $25 million in cash and the remaining in Invitae common stock (based upon a trailing average trading price as of the agreement date), and Invitae will acquire Genelex for approximately $20.7 million in upfront shares of Invitae common stock (based upon a trailing average trading price as of the agreement date) plus additional shares of Invitae common stock in the event that certain milestones are achieved. The acquisitions are expected to close in the coming weeks, pending customary closing conditions. The acquisitions are not expected to materially change previously shared guidance on revenue and volume for 2020.