Singapore-U.S. firms plan lifestyle genomic testing in SE Asia

Singapore-based Imagene Lab will offer genetic testing services with a focus on nutrition and fitness lifestyle choices throughout Southeast Asia in partnership with LifeNome of New York. This partnership represents something of a first for the region.

The offering will bank on Imagene's lab facilities and a bioinformatics platform from LifeNome aimed at individuals, doctors, nutritionists, and fitness trainers across southeast Asia, including Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Other firms have started offering low-cost genomics testing services in Asian markets like China that are mostly focused on screening for diseases--mainly in oncology. What's more, China's State Council has stated it wants to take the lead in DNA sequencing and the development of personalized medicine.

But the focus on lifestyle by Imagene and LifeNome would however cover another aspect of health care in a region where chronic diseases such as diabetes are on the upswing because of changing diets and work patterns.

"There is no doubt we are entering the age of genetically informed personalization: From precision medicine to personalized well-being advice," Raya Khanin, chief scientific officer of LifeNome explained.

"Our platform leverages information on thousands of genetic variations using rigorous analysis and delivers actionable insights to the individual. What sets our technology apart is a careful curation of scientific studies and a computational methodology that assesses the cumulative predisposition likelihood when multiple genetic variations influence a particular well-being trait predisposition such as vitamin D deficiency."

Details on cost or access were not available.

- here's the release