Thursday, January 10, 2008

Navigenics? Who was that?

So after the New England Journal of Medicine has given Personal Genome Sequencing the thumbs down, I ask you...."What will happen to these personal genome companies?"

I have several ideas....

1. They all morph into non-health related information tools. Every bell and whistle that can be marketed that will not face the scrutiny of physicians will come out of the wood works.

2. They will begin to say "The medical field has no sense of what the promise of genomic medicine is" They will attack physicians' lack of genomic knowledge. This is the tactic which nutraceutical companies use. The 'Ol "We have a secret....most physicians don't know or won't share......because they want you to have disease"

3. They will disappear, like the dinosaurs. A neat phenomenon that gave us something to write about for 4 months. Somehow I don't think Google will let that happen. But hey, ya never know.

4. They all will say "Not to be Used to Diagnose or Treat Disease" EVEN NAVIGENICS!!!

5. A new tool that uses evidence based SNP testing to identify risk will come out of the woodwork and crush them all.

6. They will create dating services around their genome scans. "Find out your perfect mate" "Discover the person who you will have super children with"

7. They will contract the Sherpa, buy Helix Health of Connecticut and it's model. Enabling the spread of directed genetic testing and personalized medicine.

8. DNA Direct and direct to consumer targeted testing will begin to partner with traditional models of genetic and genomic healthcare. They will create a more useful alternative to Genome Scanning, leaving Kleiner & Perkins smoldering for not consulting us first.

9. They will keep on, keeping on. Hoping that the limited scans which they now offer will appeal to those persons who bought a space flight, those who bought the cereal box sized mobile phone, or even those who bought Betamax

The Sherpa Says:

We must remember that Genomic and Genetic Health has nothing to do with these companies and everything to do with Personalized Medicine. My concern is that physicians will now be given a free ticket to blow of genetics and genomic healthcare. It is easy for the ignorant to not know what they are missing.
As the NEJM article says "For the patient who appears with a genome map and printouts of risk estimates in hand, a general statement about the poor sensitivity and positive predictive value of such results is appropriate, but a detailed consumer report may be beyond most physicians' skill sets." Detailed patient reports are in the skill sets of my physicians.


sciphu said...

Nice post ! Your #6: "They will create dating services around their genome scans. "Find out your perfect mate......." is already out there, have a terrifying look at Also, - I remember using Betamax and it worked for me at the time...... as Navigenics could, - for a while before turning into it's VHS analogue. Please Visit
for more comments on DNA-dating service.

Steve Murphy MD said...

Thanks for the commments. I actually had seen the scientific match site before. I still think google could do it "better"

Do you really think Navigenic could even come close to replicating what we do at Helix Health of Connecticut?


Hercules said...

the only unlikely ones were #3 and #7 -- sell Helix Health of Connecticut? There's only so much hanging at the beach or playing golf a guy can do without getting real bored.

Anonymous said...

I think navigenics is going to be a great success despite what these experts think. I think its the right time to start thinking about these things and refining the methods for personal healthcare.

Steve Murphy MD said...

I wholeheartedly agree. But to be honest, who couldn't make a go in this field with 25 million? I sure could use a few.