Scientific discoveries and breakthroughs, particularly genome sequencing, has transformed our understanding of how genes underpin biological processes in health and disease, potentially generating major health benefits. Genomic medicine is beginning to have major impact on guiding diagnoses and treatment of many disorders, especially in rare and undiagnosed diseases, but also in cancer and infectious diseases. It is one of the fastest transforming areas of medicine, and genomic solutions will just continue to increase.
The Cambridge, UK-based startup GeneAdviser is determined to make genetic testing more accessible for patients with rare diseases. They have created an online marketplace for clinicians to find and order genetic tests more easily. Their catalogue covers a wide range of tests that are easily searchable, with information to guide clinicians in choosing the right tests. With the aim of unifying the genetic testing market, the startup is set to optimize the process, lower costs, and give easier access to testing across country borders.
For patients with rare genetic diseases, it can take several years to get a diagnosis, with some never getting an answer. DNA sequencing can give a diagnosis in just a month, but testing remain underused due to significant barriers in finding and ordering the right test. Although the genetic testing market is growing rapidly, it is characterized by large, complex systems that make it difficult to navigate for both patients and doctors. GeneAdviser remove these barriers by building a smart and powerful bridge between accredited labs and clinicians to order and deliver genetic testing. By giving more clinicians access to these state-of-the-art genetic technologies, more patients can finally get diagnostic answers. And although the GeneAdviser-team was inspired by the unmet need for testing rare diseases, they also provide genetic tests for a wide variety of diseases, including cancer.
Jelena Aleksic and Robert Stojnic founded the startup after talking to several doctors who told them what where the major obstacles to ordering genetic tests. Many tests were not online, and many clinicians found themselves wasting time calling up labs in order to verify information, instead of using the time to treat patients. The platform also streamline and automate many processes for laboratories, allowing them to update the website straight from their database, process payments, as well as respond to queries made through the platform.
The platform has successfully piloted with the genetic testing lab in Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, and the startup has its first year been supported by Accelerate Cambridge and Social Incubator East. GeneAdviser is also a semifinalist at OneStart, the world’s largest accelerator for startups seeking to dramatically improve human health.