Thursday, November 15, 2007

The 10k USD Gene Sherpa

It's official. Our little poll is closed. 18 days, 14 votes. That's pretty sad. But from the limited and not statistically significant data, I am able to draw a false conclusion that the public feels that a Sherpa is worth 10k/yr.

How's that for profit margin? Perhaps the readers who felt empowered to vote are geneticists and counselors, therefore obviously biasing the data. But what really is a Sherpa worth? Our Sherpas at Helix Health of Connecticut are worth that much, but cost much less.

I was asked today by an investor "Where do you see personalized medicine headed in the next five years" I answered "It depends" Over the weekend I will list my scenarios and go over what I think the outcomes might be in different scenarios, so stay tuned. One of those big scenarios depends on how the data comes out.

A few colleagues over at Coriell are looking to create some of that data. In a collaborative effort called the Delaware Valley Personalized Medicine Project they hope to give us a glimpse into how this revolution may evolve. Thanks to my wonderful OraGene rep Melanie for this info. This is precisely the type of studies that need to be done to guide personalized medicine. Marker studies are cute. Outcomes studies have teeth!

Lastly, do you remember when I said that we still have alot of convincing to do? This post at Medical News Today is concerning. Funny, in Australia they refuse cancer risk assessments, but remarkably the DTC company testing for athletic ability is doing just fine. It truly is funny where people place their priorities.

The Sherpa Says: As I talk with more and more investors it is getting clearer, maybe the money is not in Personalized Medicine. That's why Australian healthclubs are pimping ACTN3 testing.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Great blog...just started checking it out via The DNA Network.

I think I agree with you that the money is minimal in personalized genomics (for companies like 23andme, etc), over the next 5-10 years.

That market size has got to be directly related to the number of people today who pay to test themselves for simple disorders (CF, Huntington, etc), which I suspect is infinitesimally small. These results can inevitably only give you bad news about your future...I just don't see many people paying premptively. Seems pretty easy to model from similar existing products.

There is a price/value point at which whole genome scans will undoubtedly get paid for by insurance companies. I think from a value standpoint (valuable loci with confirmed effects) we are still a long way off.