Updated on 21 December 2012
The client is sent a kit containing a saliva or cheek cell collection tube, which is simple, non-invasive and easy-to-use, through courier. The kit can be couriered back for analysis and the client is informed electronically when the report is ready to be viewed. Jai Heart is priced below $90 (Rs 5,000).
Xcyton Diagnostics, a medical biotech company which develops products for diagnosing, managing and containing critical infectious diseases, launched its Syndrome Evaluation System (SES) platform earlier this year.
The patented platform is capable of identifying 26 different pathogens in a single sample in a single test. Using the SES platform, Xcyton has developed kits, trade marked as Xcyto Screen, for critical infections such as brain infection, eye infection, septicaemia, infection of Febrile neutropenia, acute pyrexia and HPV genoptyping (for cervical cancer). The tests cost between $271-$325 (Rs 15,000-Rs 18,000) per patient sample. One of the key players in the genetic diagnostics segment is Genetic Technologies of Australia. The company offers a range of diagnostic tests that are primarily focused on cancer, in particular women's health.
Dr David Sparling, vice president, legal and corporate development, Genetic Technologies, said, "Our suite of women's health diagnostic tests include tests for breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer, and we are constantly looking to expand our test menu. We also offer diagnostic tests for bowel cancer, cancer of unknown primary and epilepsy."
The company launched its product BREVAGen, a first-in-class predictive risk test for sporadic breast cancer, in 2011. The company is now looking to expand BREVAGen sales into new regions and is on an acquisition footing to acquire late-stage development or on-market diagnostic assets that fit the company's objectives.
Pitfalls for the players
The genetic diagnostic industry is still in its infant stages. There are several hurdles for the companies operating in this segment. For instance, there is lack of awareness among people and medical professionals about the available diagnostic products. Also, combining genetic markers with conventional risk factors is not a common practise. The genetic markers, when combined with conventional risk factors using intelligent algorithms, have the ability to estimate the total risk of an individual developing a disease, thereby enabling better prevention and treatment through personalization.