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An Australian-first genomics test has been developed which allows GPs to better prescribe medication for patients after receiving support from Perth’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation (CERI).

The Gene S pharmacogenomic test uses a cheek swab or blood test to determine whether a patient’s DNA is likely to affect their suitability for a particular medication being prescribed.

“This is about removing the guesswork for doctors so they’re able to prescribe the right drug at the right dose straight away,” says Gene S Co-Founder Dr Suzanna Lindsey-Temple.

“We know that 70% of medications are either not effective or cause adverse drug reactions because most of us have spelling mistakes in our DNA,” she says.

“Individual genetics impacts how the body metabolises and responds to medication.”

“This simple test will be able to be requested by GPs and they’ll receive results back in a couple of days to help them know which drug to prescribe.”

The first test will be available for most medications used to treat mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and bi-polar.

“We see this as an important area of medicine to get right the first time because a one drug fits all approach is not in the best interest of patients, “ says Dr Lindsey-Temple.

Future testing kits are expected to be available for other medications including cardiac drugs, pain relief and anaesthesia medication. 

Gene S is co-founded by Dr Lindsey-Temple, a Clinical Geneticist, and Dr Svetlana Baltic whose background lies in the biotech sector.

Gene S reached out to CERI for mentorship, a not for profit social enterprise set up to help researchers move their ideas out of laboratories and into the real world.

“We’re really excited to have been able to help Gene S in developing their research into a product that will be a gamechanger for doctors in Australia and potentially around the world, “says CERI CEO Toby Swingler.

“Often medical innovators lack the know-how to commercialise their research and that’s where we step in and help,” he says.  

“One of the biggest things we’ve discovered since establishing CERI is how much innovation and potential there is in Australia’s life science industry,” he says.

“We run programs specifically for entrepreneurs to help them move from concept into creation - so they can take their ideas and transform them into real life solutions for Australians.”

“We’ve already successfully helped more than 100  startups get off the ground and have had more than 1000 students undertaking our programs,” he says.

“We’re grateful to CERI for giving us the support to help us take our research out of the laboratory and turn it into a practical solution for Australian doctors,” says Dr Lindsey-Temple.

“From problem solving, to providing mentors and helping us with our capital raise, it really is a unique hub they have created,” she adds.

The new Gene S pharmacogenomics test is expected to be available to Australians through their GPs on a research use only basis by the middle of the year.

About the Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation

CERI is a social enterprise supporting the next generation of Australian entrepreneurs. It was founded in 2015 by the Bass Family Foundation and 2024 WA Senior Australian of the Year Charlie Bass, who wanted to ensure a more sustainable future for business. Our programs are curated to educate and empower early stage entrepreneurs, PhD students and visionaries. We offer a range of services from education to mentorship, workplace residency, industry exposure and access to an extensive network of experts and like-minded people.