I first learned about EpicGenetics through the UIC Office of Technology Management when they secured their space in the Illinois Pavilion for BIO 2013. I was immediately intrigued by this company that I didn’t know anything about. And that is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job, learning about new companies, new therapies and how they bring benefit to the patient population.
EpicGenetics was founded by Bruce S. Gillis, MD, MPH, member of the clinical faculty at the UIC College of Medicine. EpicGenetics a privately-held biomedical company, dedicated to developing conclusive diagnostic medical tests for complex medical conditions where no definitive testing is currently available. With this specialized focus, EpicGenetics created the first objective diagnostic test for fibromyalgia, The FM/a® Test (www.thefmtest.com).
According to the American College of Rheumatology, fibromyalgia affects more than 12.3 million people in the United States, comparable to the number of people affected by cancer. Patients who experience symptoms, such as chronic pain and fatigue, depression and insomnia, spend an average of three to five painful years seeking a diagnosis and $4,800-$9,300 annually on associated medical costs. Until now, there has been no conclusive test to confirm the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
For decades doctors debated on whether fibromyalgia is a real disease, some define it as a syndrome, nothing more than a collection of complaints. But why haven’t doctors been able to recognize fibromyalgia as a disease? According to Dr. Gillis, it was because there was a giant hurdle to acceptance due to the lack of any objective evidence of a specific medical pathway to explain their symptoms.
“I decided to see if there was something unique about fibromyalgia patients. I felt there might be one common underlying pathway that could account for the wide-ranging collection of problems fibromyalgia patients reported, which ranged from brain and nervous system issues to muscle and joint pain, digestive troubles, poor sleep, severe fatigue, psychological issues and more. The results of our research have allowed us to ‘pull back the curtain’ and identify specific diagnostic biomarkers in fibromyalgia,” said Dr. Gillis, “For decades, the medical community has viewed fibromyalgia with much skepticism. Patients have been stigmatized, and many are spending thousands of dollars and years of frustration in search of a diagnosis. Our breakthrough provides patients with hope and validation that their symptoms are real, and we hope physicians who commonly see patients with fibromyalgia will embrace and value this test for its role in the advancement of medical care.”
EpicGenetics has a large and distinguished scientific advisory board, click here to review the members. The FM/a® Test is currently available to doctors for $744, saving patients years of suffering and thousands of dollars in testing and doctors visits. Instructions on how to request the test and get tested can be found on their website, www.thefmtest.com.
I encourage you that if you are at BIO 2013, stop by the Illinois Pavilion and learn more about EpicGenetics. If you are not able to make it to BIO, check out www.thefmtest.com.
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