3 Oct, 2019
Genomelink and Sano Genetics Partnership
The biotech startup, Genomelink, has announced it is partnering with genomic research and data-sharing startup, Sano Genetics, that will match consumers’ genetic information with new medical research. The aim of this partnership is to encourage more consumers to donate their DNA for research and to be rewarded in return.
Under this partnership, consumers will get paid - up to $500 - for contributing their time and genetic data to medical research, and will receive health benefits, including access to new treatments via clinical trials. In addition, participants will receive regular updates on the research they support and free personalized health and wellness reports based on their genetic profiles.
Together, Genomelink and Sano Genetics will use the DNA data to research disorders such as psoriatic arthritis, diabetes, mental health and eczema, as well as rare diseases like muscular dystrophy. The CEO and co-founder of Genomelink, Tomohiro Takano, says this new partnership will transform drug discovery and accelerate the growth of personalized medicine, enabling large-scale genetic and medical research without sacrificing data privacy.
Genomelink is a web platform that enables consumers to upload their raw DNA report - for free - and discover more about their DNA identities and traits that go beyond ancestry. The consumer platform reveals more than 150 genetic traits in five categories - food and nutrition, personality, cognitive, fitness and physical traits.
Sano Genetics is a data-sharing platform where consumers submit their medical history and genetic data, which is matched with clinical studies that can benefit from their DNA. The biotech company matches participants with research projects that offer free genome sequencing and opportunities to try new treatments via clinical trials. Genome sequencing can typically cost more than $1000.
Takano says unlike traditional genetic data sharing partnerships, Genomelink and Sano Genetics have created a transparent, secure platform which allows individuals to explicitly opt in or out of different studies - and make money while doing so.
“The process to submit your DNA is incredibly easy and fast,” said Takano. “Consumers can share as much - or as little information - as they wish. Once their DNA has been selected for research, consumers can then learn how to make money off their contribution.”
How Consumers Get Paid for their DNA
Takano says it’s very simple to participate in the DNA research. Consumers upload their DNA report to Genomelink and they receive a research recruitment email to give consent to sharing their genetic information with Sano. Consumers whose DNA is selected will be compensated for their contribution.
Several hundred Genomelink users have already contributed their DNA as part of a project to understand whether there is an interaction between genetics and common anti-inflammatories, such as Aspirin, in people with stomach ulcers.
Additionally, researchers conducting nonprofit studies at the University of Cambridge, the University of Liverpool, and Imperial College London are using this DNA data to research conditions like autism, stomach ulcers and autoimmune conditions.
Genomelink users can also join studies run by for-profit companies, including clinical trials for autoimmune conditions such as eczema and psoriasis; research and development of new treatments for rare and chronic diseases; and several studies on how genetics influences the way people respond to medicines. The money participants will receive varies from $50 to $500, depending on the research.
In addition, participants who join for-profit studies are also eligible to receive free genetic testing, free upgrades to Genomelink premium or monetary compensation, depending on the specifics of the study.
Takano says DNA data from Genomelink will not be used in research unless participants explicitly opt in. Both Genomelink and Sano Genetics have a strong commitment to transparency and data ownership for participants.
“We believe partnerships like ours are the first step in researching rare diseases and disorders with no cures,” said Takano. “By donating your DNA to researchers studying diseases like diabetes and depression, we can learn more about how we can cure them and help thousands of patients around the world.”
To learn more about this partnership and how consumers can get involved, visit sanogenetics.com/genomelink
Genomelink is a graduate of Berkeley SkyDeck accelerator and backed by several investors, including Global Brain, Digital Garage, Sony Innovation Fund, IronFire Ventures and 500 Startups Japan. The web platform helps members learn about their DNA data, while ensuring ultimate transparency. It enables members to upload their raw DNA data file and discover more about their DNA identities and traits through intuitive visualization and scientific educational content. Genomelink’s dedicated science team updates its trait database weekly with curated research papers and academic literature that provides analysis for over 125 traits in five categories: food & nutrition, personality, cognitive, fitness, and physical traits. The research database enables users to discover new trait reports every week.
The company was founded in 2017 by three Japanese founders - Tomohiro Takano, Yuta Matsuda and Kensuke Numakura - who have worked in genomics for years, including M3, Inc., DeNA, and P5, Inc., which was founded as a joint venture of SONY and Illumina.
About Sano Genetics
Sano Genetics is a UK-based platform for research in personalized medicine. Founded by three PhD students from the University of Cambridge - Patrick Short, Charlotte Guzzo and William Jones - the platform is free to use and gives users the option to upload existing genetic and medical data to match with research studies and clinical trials powering the future of personalized medicine.