If it is in your genes, you can now know it. A start-up, Mapmygenome, will unlock the secrets of your genetic make-up for you. Bikaner-born Anu (Anuradha) Acharya, 43 is the founder of this 3-year old start-up, based in Hyderabad, India.
Mapmygenome engages in developing genomics solutions for predictive diagnosis and prognosis, using DNA testing. A simple non-invasive saliva-based test is used to decipher your DNA. It is then used to predict genetic risk for various diseases and inherited conditions.
The most popular product offered by the company is the Genomepatri, a modern version of janampatri. This product enables you to find your risk for many chronic and life-threatening diseases in order to ensure early detection. It also helps you learn about genetic traits that make you what you are and influence a medical outcome, health and well-being in general, or your lifestyle. It can reveal your response to drugs and provide insights into conditions that can be passed onto the future generations. The company’s genetic counsellors analyse the data and correlate it with your family health history, medical history, and lifestyle.
Genomepatri is a once in a lifetime check-up. It enables your health history to be correlated with your genetic predisposition to give you some actionable steps to follow after a genetic counselling session. Sample processing and analysis takes about 6-8 weeks. You may wonder whether the tests are accurate. Anu claimed in an interview that they use the Illumina technology to do tests. It is a predictive test and not a diagnostic. It answers ‘What is the probability that you are likely to get it.’ Illumina guarantees 99.9% accuracy, not 100%. According to her, “The real value is when Mapmygenome gives the test taker a recommendation on how to change their diet and lifestyle. People in India consider this product to be an investment to help them live a healthy lifestyle.”
Earlier this year, Mapmygenome raised $1.1 million in a pre-Series A funding round from Rajan Anandan, Google’s VP and MD for South East Asia and India, and others. The company was recently recognised as the Emerging Company of the Year in the Devices and Diagnostics category at Bangalore Bio 2015.
Anu had her education from IIT Kharagpur and University of Illinois. She worked with telecom software company Mantiss Information in the US and consulting firm SEI Information before she co-founded Ocimum Biosolutions in 2000 as a genomics outsourcing platform providing research as a service to scientists. She was its CEO till 2013. She was awarded the Young Global Leader award by the World Economic forum in 2011.