Finding Genius Podcast
Solving the Genetic Puzzle – Shawn Patrick O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer of Genomind – Improving Mental Health Treatment Through Genetic Testing
Jun 6, 2020 · 24 min
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Shawn Patrick O’Brien, chief executive officer of Genomind (genomind.com), discusses anxiety, mental health, and genetic connections.

Before his work began at Genomind, O’Brien founded Key BioPharma Partners, LLC, a private consulting firm focused on biopharma, and he served as president and CEO of multiple influential pharmaceutical and bioscience companies. 

Podcast Points:

  • How can genetic testing help improve drug treatment outcomes for mental health patients?
  • How many people suffer from mental health issues over their lifetime?
  • Do some drugs work better than others for a particular patient? 

O’Brien discusses the background of Genomind, and why the company was created. He talks about the company’s founder, Dr. Ronald Dozoretz, MD, who sadly passed away recently due to Covid-19. Dr. Dozoretz’s career as a psychiatrist focused on building mental health centers, working to improve patient outcomes, and decrease costs.

O’Brien states that according to the CDC, by the end of the decade, depression will be the largest healthcare cost. Genomind seeks to bring real solutions to mental health care. As O’Brien explains, as many as 50% of the total population will need mental health services at some point in their lives. Genomind has developed a system of testing that can eliminate the trial and error of care, by providing genetic testing of 24 different genes which can elucidate which drugs are suitable for the individual and which will be ineffective, how they will metabolize a type of drug, and how that drug will be distributed throughout their body, etc. This valuable information can assist health care practitioners to prescribe medications that will work for their patients, and eliminate the long journey of trial and error that many patients go through en route to finding a successful path to treatment through medication. 

The Genomind CEO talks about the ways they have adapted their company’s models to facilitate the current Covid-19 period. He discusses particular drugs and drug profiles, detailing therapy and treatment. O’Brien explains that many patients may be currently taking drugs that will simply never work for them, but genetic testing will help correct this. Wrapping up, O’Brien provides an overview of new emerging data in his field, and how drugs are incorporated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), etc., and he talks about his personal story with his son that motivated him to work with Genomind helping others improve their lives.

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