Genomics' Advantages for the Mexican PopulationBy Alessa Flores | Wed, 07/22/2020 - 09:55
Q: What added value does Genómica Médica offer the Mexican healthcare sector?
A: Based on my experience as a doctor and genomics researcher, I was interested in how to turn genomics into products and services in Mexico. From there, we established a business that today has 18 products in the market. These have expanded their reach thanks to our own e-commerce and third-party platforms like Amazon. Our products bring genetic knowledge closer to people who want to understand their own genetics to improve their quality of life.
Q: What tests does Genómica Médica perform and how does the company choose the products it markets?
A: Testing involves an examination of the person with Mexican genetics and tailored guidance about how to eat a balanced diet, exercise and reduce the risk of certain diseases. We provided tests for osteoporosis, diabetes, and reactions to certain medications, including one that can confirm whether or not a person will respond to a medication that helps prevent heart attacks. Approximately 30 percent of people in Mexico do not respond to the most widely used drug and there is already an alternative treatment approved by the FDA, but people have no way of knowing this unless they have a heart attack or take this test. In the US, when you are given a drug, you can see on the label that there is a DNA test to verify if it is the right medication for you. In Mexico, there is still a significant gap and misunderstanding of the advantages of genomic medicine.
Q: What unique challenges do DNA tests present and how have you overcome these?
A: It has been a very long road from professional to entrepreneur, 18 years of training to be precise. I went to university to study a postdoctoral degree, then became the head of INMEGEN and now I am a businessmen. Some of the challenges were finding support to finance our project, but we did. We participated in an innovation and development program at MassChallenge, where 730 companies initially participated and 39 moved on to the next stages. We progressed and eventually won. These acceleration processes have changed our product and how we get closer to our customers, which is our key to being increasingly successful.
Q: How has Genómica Médica grown since its launch?
A: Genómica Médica has grown at double-digit rate since we opened. We work with students from CENTRO University, which is the best university for film, communication and the visual arts, to get our genetic products to the right people in the right way. We have changed our product campaigns to communicate to our customers that DNA tests, far from being a burden, can empower them to take charge of their lives and improve their quality of life. At the same time, we work with other universities, professionals, scientists and researchers who have joined Genómica Médica to have the best products to the market.
Q: Why are your services the go-to solution in terms of genomics?
A: Our goal is to provide quick, easily accessible and creative tests. This year, we are developing a model that allows us to refer the client to a nutritionist and physical trainer after purchasing our products. We are not only going to communicate to clients the propensities they have, we are going to accompany them in the process of improving their health. The model is so personalized that clients can choose a menu of options for Mexican food, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or any preferred feature.
Our products are people-friendly. We transform not only the accessibility of the products but the price and the information we share. Although we are a company founded by scientists and researchers, we know how important it is to translate knowledge to make it accessible to consumers. We want the people who buy them to know what they are buying, what the benefits are and what they can do with the information. Recommendations are aimed at empowering people to know how to eat and how to exercise based on genetics.
Genómica Médica is the leading laboratory in personalized medicine in Mexico. It offers saliva-based DNA tests for risk assessment of common diseases, prediction of responses to common medications and diagnosis of genetic diseases