Tokyo, Japan - Genesis Healthcare Co., Japan’s pioneer genetic in testing and research, currently considered to be holding the largest genetic database in Japan (more than 710,000 samples), today announced the launch of its new service “GenesisGaia,” a platform that enables GeneLife users to share their personal genetic data. “GenesisGaia” is designed to become a marketplace for genetic information where business partners and representatives of selected industries can retrieve data from consenting users, who are customers of the genetic testing kits sold by Genesis Healthcare under the “GeneLife” brand. This exchange will be possible when both the business partners and users agree to the terms and content to each research. While business partners will benefit from receiving data, users, in turn, can earn points for their participation. The business partners and industry representatives are carefully chosen from various industries –for example, those seeking to advance their research in medical genetics, academia, research institutions, pharmaceuticals, manufacturers of food and beverages, etc. Upon its launch, “GenesisGaia” will be the first genetic marketplace in Japan and globally where benefit is shared with the user. Genesis Healthcare hopes to pave the way to introduce the idea of “sharing economy of genetic information,” in the time when globally, the industry is gradually shifting towards utilizing genetic information for preventive and personalized medicine.
Benefits for GeneLife users to share their genetic information Users of “GenesisGaia” will be able to check their genetic test results, manage their participation in researches and sharing of their information with industry representative or business partners through a specially designed app. The mobile app is first set to launch today for 5,000 of the existing GeneLife customers. Genesis Healthcare intends to make the app available in its full capacity to all customers by June 2019. In addition, GeneLife users will be able to participate in the ‘GeneLife Reward Program’ when participating in research and surveys. Reward will be given initially in the form of ‘points’ that will allow users to redeem additional GeneLife reports. However, the program will expand to other offers and other programs in the foreseeable future.
Benefits to academia and research institutions through access to genetic information Genesis Healthcare is planning to develop “GenesisGaia” into a tool that can help academia and research institutions to efficiently narrow down relevant information in order to shorten lead time on research and development (R&D). “GenesisGaia” will allow for academia and research institutions to search for genetic information, genetic variations and results of surveys varying from gender, age, prefecture of their residence, lifestyle habits such as smoking or alcohol consumption, history of illness and more. Each user can elect which data can be shared with academia and research institutions through “GenesisGaia”. All search results will be anonymized; however, if the individual participant consents to disclose their contact information, these institutions may contact them directly. For example, when conducting a trial focusing on individuals with a distinct genetic signature, institutions on “GenesisGaia” can quickly narrow down their clinical trial participants, which in turn will shorten the lead time on R&D for specific prescription drugs.
Genesis Healthcare’s vision for the future In recent years, genetic data and utilization of personal information have become a highlighted topic for discussion. Genesis Healthcare aims to ensure full transparency in this area. It has made “informed consent” the rule in this new app. This means that GeneLife users will have full control over how their genetic data is utilized and will be asked for a “consent” each time when their genetic data is used in R&D. This transparency will empower them to make their own choices of when, where and how their data is used.
Expectations for the future of the genetics industry Through “GenesisGaia,” Genesis Healthcare is hoping to nurture a positive cycle in which users will not only benefit directly from analyses of one’s own genetic information but also to give back to the society by contributing to the advancement of medicine, academic research, drug discovery, establishment of a new treatment regime, supporting industries through genetic information. In order to realize this, GenesisGaia makes it a prerequisite that consumers have full control over when and why they would give their consent to share genetic information each time. At the same time, Genesis Healthcare is working towards a model to ensure that profit gained from its business partners will be shared through a benefit sharing model with GeneLife users who allowed their genetic information to be shared.
About Genesis Healthcare Co. Genesis Healthcare Co.is a leading biotech company, pioneering genetic research company since its incorporation in March 2004. The total number of analyses conducted to date surpasses 710,000 samples (as of April 25, 2019). In October 2018, Genesis Healthcare has introduced a Whole Genome Testing breaking \100,000 price barrier in Japan. >Through adding state-of-the-art technologies such as NGS, Genesis Healthcare is committing itself to serve the vast needs of business partners and consumers while it continues to offer various genetic testing methods such as PCR and Microarray.
For press & media enquiries, please contact:
Genesis Healthcare Co.