This morning, direct-to-consumer genomics startup The DNA Company announced its purchase of digital therapeutic My Pain Sensei for roughly $30 million.
The technology from the two companies will be combined to form a new platform called My Next Health, which will use genomic information to help users get insights into preventing and managing chronic conditions.
The DNA Company notes that the purchase of My Pain Sensei will allow it to implement its technology, which has a Class 1 Medical Device Establishment License from Health Canada for applications associated with chronic pain and COVID-19.
Customers will be able to tap into AI-enabled insights that are actionable. The tool is pitched as a way for people to self-manage their health through behavior changes and tracking.
The new platform was designed to have a special COVID-19 feature, which accesses someone’s individual risk profile for developing complications, with genetic factors taken into account.
WHY IT MATTERS
The DNA Company pitches this marriage of tech as a way to gain insights about genomics and health coaching. It is also boasting that the tech can give users an opportunity to understand how the coronavirus could impact them.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how a novel virus can upend the world’s healthcare system at a moment’s notice,” said Kashif Khan, CEO of My Next Health. “But, advances in functional genomics may allow us to better understand the underlying biological weaknesses that this novel virus exploits, so that we can leverage existing treatment protocols to improve patient outcomes and reduce load on the healthcare system. The acquisition of MPS will help us tackle these and other problems.”
THE LARGER TREND
Over the last decade the consumer genomics space has heated up. In 2017 23andMe became the first direct-to-consumer genetic test kits to get an FDA nod for providing information about an individual’s risk to certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Since then, we’ve seen a slew of consumer genomics companies, including Helix, MyHeritage and even Ancestry, get into the health space. However, in January, 23andMe laid off 100 of its employees, citing a market cooldown.