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Hungry brain test identifies abnormal satiation and predicts response to Qsymia

Results from a study conducted at Mayo Clinic to assess the utility of the Phenomix Sciences MyPhenome Hungry Brain test has demonstrated that Phenomix's Hungry Brain biomarker test could predict both the Hungry Brain phenotype and identify high responders to phentermine-topiramate (phen-top, e.g., Qsymia), an FDA-approved anti-obesity medication for weight loss. The results were presented at ObesityWeek 2023 by Mayo Clinic's Dr Diego Anazco, research postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr Andres Acosta.

"We are thrilled that the Hungry Brain biomarker performed so well in this study. The MyPhenome tests allow providers to give patients greater insight into their specific type of obesity and the most effective course of treatment," said Acosta. "Phenotyping is reshaping obesity clinical practice and the use of obesity interventions, including medications. These results will speed the adoption of this new age of obesity precision medicine where we can predict the response to drugs with unprecedented accuracy, changing the way we approach obesity care."



The study used a cohort of data from a 12-month randomised control trial of patients on Qsymia to assess the MyPhenome Hungry Brain test. The biomarker test was developed using AI to create a machine learning polygenic risk score of gene variants from 22 genes and selected demographics.

The study demonstrated that both abnormal satiation (i.e. the Hungry Brain phenotype), measured by calories to fullness, and the biomarker test identified patients who can achieve greater total body weight loss (TBWL) when treated with Qsymia. Patients identified as Hungry Brain positive experienced an average of 17.7% TBWL in 12 months, while patients identified as Hungry Brain negative lost an average of only 7.6%, a difference of more than twice the weight loss (22.3 kg vs. 10.8 kg, p=0.02). The results of the study confirm that the MyPhenome buccal swab tests can help physicians accurately select patients for effective obesity interventions.


"The MyPhenome test demonstrates that using AI and machine learning on robust and carefully curated data sets can yield sophisticated predictive tools like our polygenic risk score test. I want to thank both the data teams at Phenomix and the clinical teams at Mayo Clinic for this academic-industry collaboration and their contributions to building the test," said Timothy O'Connor, Chief Data Scientist at Phenomix. "The observation by our founders that understanding a phenotype would also let you understand the response to drugs was groundbreaking. This study has demonstrated conclusively that you can understand phenotypes and drug responses with a saliva-based biomarker test."


Phenomix released its first two MyPhenome tests for Hungry Gut and Hungry Brain biomarkers this year. The tests are currently in use by US healthcare providers.

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