YouScript is provided by Genelex, a pioneer in genetic testing since 1987.
Genelex is a privately held corporation providing comprehensive DNA testing services designed to enhance the health and safety of society. Originally founded as a paternity and forensics lab, Genelex started providing pharmacogenetic testing in 2000 when Genelex founder Howard Coleman read a Fortune magazine story about the death of Michael Adams-Conroy in 2000.
The Pennsylvania boy was only nine years old when he died in 1995 with massive amounts of the antidepressant Prozac found in his body. The drug had been prescribed to help him with myriad problems that included possible fetal alcohol syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette's. His adoptive parents temporarily lost custody of their other two children while authorities investigated Michael’s death as a possible homicide-by-overdose.
In the wrenching investigation followed, the grieving parents, fearful of charges being brought against them, contacted a psychiatrist in Philadelphia for help. That sharp-eyed physician was immediately struck by a finding in the coroner’s report, according to the story: “Both fluoxetine, the active compound in Prozac, and norfluoxetine, a similar compound produced when the drug is processed in the liver, were found at the same high level in the boy's blood at the time of death,” something unexpected in such a fatal overdose. Typically, in overdoses, fluoxetine is usually present in the blood at a much higher level than norfluoxetine – so the evidence in fact suggested Michael died of a chronic accumulation of the drug, because his liver could not properly metabolize it (read the fascinating and tragic story by David Stipp in its entirety here).
The boy’s parents were exonerated after genetic testing confirmed the psychiatrist’s suspicions that Michael was a slow metabolizer of Prozac. But Coleman, himself the father of three, was haunted by the family’s multiple tragedies: the boy’s death, which could have been prevented had genetic testing revealed he had an enzyme deficiency hindering his ability to metabolize many common drugs, and the subsequent criminal investigation that placed his innocent parents under suspicion. Coleman realized technology had advanced enough to make testing for such problems both accurate and affordable, and he became determined it should be more easily available to stem the annual tide of unnecessary deaths and serious health problem caused by adverse reactions to drugs.
So in 2000, Genelex added DNA testing for drug sensitivity to its expertise in forensic and paternity testing. “I know we can prevent future deaths and misery with this service,” Coleman says. “We can end these tragedies now.” Since that day in 2000, Genelex has constantly improved their ability to prevent adverse drug events. YouScript includes testing, patented software, and clinical pharmacist support to provide a turnkey solution for healthcare providers wanting safer and more effective medication management for their patients.