Gilberto Medina
Director General
Novogen, Part of IVG Group
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View from the Top

Making the Medicine of the Future Accessible

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 18:13

Q: What led to the creation of Novogen and how is the company working to meet the industry’s needs?
A: For many years, the industry has talked about having personalized medicine that generates an intrinsic benefit for the patient. Novogen identified this as a business opportunity and a way of benefiting the community. We created a business proposal that merges two factors, our laboratory’s specialization in genomics, genetics and molecular biology and our collaboration with international laboratory equipment and reagent manufacturers. All this with the goal of contributing to an improved clinical diagnosis.
Q: What are the potential uses of personalized medicine based on genetics and genomics?
A: Laboratories that constantly launch new pharmaceutical products make significant investments in statistical population studies to develop personalized medicines for specific diseases. What our technology can do is provide precision in diagnosis. We are launching a characterization system for certain types of cancer that is directed toward supporting doctors with their diagnoses and final prescriptions. This can also have a positive effect on patients because doctors will know from the first moment the type of therapy they should use, eliminating the possibility of prescribing inadequate or dangerous treatments.
With our system, doctors receive an insightful report that states which treatments are recommended given the mutations related to these particular diseases. Specific variants present in different types of cancer are associated with an increased sensitivity to particular medications. This could be extremely beneficial for oncologists and patients, since most targeted therapies are associated with similar or higher effectivity but fewer side-effects when compared against conventional therapies. At our lab, we have NGS panels used to study breast, ovary, lung and colon cancer, as well as melanoma. We are considering adding a panel for leukemia and the idea is to have at least one service for all types of cancer.
Unlike other laboratories or genomic services, we strive to provide the doctor with functional and relevant information only. We do not intend to sequence all genes in the human body and then provide a report on our discoveries, but to focus only on the most relevant information for disease treatment. That is our main differentiator and where we saw the largest market opportunity. Unlike other alternative tests in the market, we provide the doctor with flexibility regarding access to the available information and if the doctor wants to, we can select only certain pieces of data. Novogen also is a 100 percent Mexican laboratory, which means we can advise the doctor in the interpretation process as well. We try to provide a concise and easy-to-interpret report, so the doctor has all the information needed to determine the best treatment for the patient. Should doctors require more information, they can access all the databases we used and the informatic algorithms that processed the information, which are in a 100 percent integral AI platform that detects and classifies genetics variants associated with the disease and treatment recommendations.  
Q: What is Novogen’s client distribution between the public and private sector?
A: For oncology tests, we only focus on the private sector. We are presenting the project to the pharmaceutical industry and to insurance companies. Thanks to the alliances we have made, such as that with Grupo SOHIN, we have made significant progress with insurance companies and have obtained a pre-approval from some of the most important insurance companies in the country. Our main concern is being able to reach a larger market so we can benefit more people. We are open to working with the government and analyzing how we can collaborate to benefit the entire sector. The ideal scenario should be to democratize personalized medicine and for this to happen, the public sector must be involved. A good diagnosis is beneficial to everyone and helps to save costs for patients, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and hospitals.