Creating Your DNA-Based "Digital Twin"
Predictiv is creating the future of predictive medicine.
Using next-generation DNA sequencing, it assesses a person’s risk level for more than 16,000 diseases. In addition, it sequences more than 20,000 genes and analyzes 300 drugs — essentially, creating a person’s DNA-based “Digital Twin.”
Predictiv’s platform enables patients to assume full control over their genetic profile, and empowers them to make accurate health decisions. At the same time, it gives healthcare workers access to early diagnoses and optimal drug doses and recommendations.
DNA testing has become enormously popular. About 30 million people have had their DNA analyzed so far. And by 2025, the market for genetic testing is expected to reach $25 billion.
Leading the way in this market are a handful of companies that were once tiny startups, and are now multi-billion-dollar success stories. For example:
Invitae, which offers genetic tests, has a market cap of roughly $8 billion. Ancestry.com, a company providing DNA testing for genealogical purposes, was acquired in August 2020 for $4.7 billion. And 23andMe, which offers DNA tests direct-to-consumers, is expected to go public soon at a valuation of $3.5 billion.
But these companies don’t offer what Predictiv does. Ancestry.com focuses more on genealogical backgrounds rather than health insights. Meanwhile, 23andMe only analyzes 100 genes and assesses the risk for 14 diseases. Invitae analyzes only 147 genes and assesses the risk for 20 diseases. As mentioned, Predictiv analyzes 20,000 genes, giving users unparalleled insight into more than 16,000 diseases.
Testing the risk for this many diseases is critical. That’s because 55 million people die every year from a life-threatening disease. But surprisingly, more than 10% of these diseases have a genetic component to them — and could potentially have been prevented.
15% of all cancers have an inherited susceptibility factor. 12% of all hospital admissions are a result of genetic causes. And 10% of all chronic diseases, from diabetes to heart disease to Alzheimer’s, have significant genetic components.
The problem is that there hasn't been an efficient way to monitor genetic markers to be on the lookout for signs of these diseases — until now.
Here’s how Predictiv’s platform works for users:
• First, they submit a DNA sample consisting of five fingernails or toenails. These are placed in a jar and mailed to Predictiv.
• Second, Predictiv extracts the DNA, sequences it, and analyzes it to create the user’s “digital twin.”
• Finally, users are sent an invitation to join an online or face-to-face consultation with a genetic counselor who will set up a personalize preventive plan. Consultations include access to a complete disease profile. And users can simulate their reactions to drugs based on their level of toxicity, efficiency, metabolism, and dosage.
Predictiv sells its tests for $790. This includes sequencing and consultation with a genetic counselor. Tests can either be prescribed or recommended by a healthcare professional, or ordered directly through its website.
Predictiv spent four years developing its platform, which features an Artificial Intelligence engine. This engine was validated in summer 2020 through an FDA-involved Covid-19 challenge.
In this challenge, Predictiv used its AI engine to predict the length of ICU hospitalization needed due to the coronavirus. The startup ranked in the top half of organizations participating, which included Google, Accenture, and the University of California San Francisco.
Predictiv is in discussions with more than 30 healthcare providers and “telemedicine” companies to potentially adopt its tests. It’s also in “final” discussions for contracts that would put its tests in 300 clinics in the U.S., India, and South East Asia.
Predictiv has two patents filed. And it aims to begin generating revenue this year. The company projects to break even in 18 months.
With funds raised, Predictiv will dedicate 40% toward R&D efforts, 40% toward marketing, and 20% toward IT and operations. Down the road, the company plans to expand its offerings to create a complete health and medical data platform, which will include nutrition and fitness insights.
Sajung has extensive experience in the genetics field.
Prior to starting Predictiv, he was a professor of Bioinformatics at Johns Hopkins University. Before that, he spent two years as CEO of ZtoMed, a company specializing in telemedicine.
Earlier, he spent five years at the National Institutes of Health, focusing on genetic engineering and bioinformatics. Before that, he was CEO of Doctomics, a medical technology company creating a virtual, Artificial Intelligence-enabled physician.
Sajung holds an MBA from Johns Hopkins and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Hawaii.
Prior to Predictiv, Sijung founded Yotta Biomed, a startup focused on next-generation DNA sequencing. Before that, he was a professor of Bioinformatics and Genetics at Johns Hopkins.
He spent nine years in a contractor role as a bioinformatics scientist with the National Institutes of Health, and before that was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. While there, he developed software used for DNA sequencing.
Earlier, Sijung was a graduate student at Boston University, and previously studied at Seoul National University. He earned his Ph.D. in Physics from BU and a Bachelor’s in Physics from Seoul National University.
Alex’s background includes time in the software and financial services industries.
He began his career as a software engineer with Altran, an IT services company. From there, he spent eight years as a manager with Accenture, a consulting company. He then became a director at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, a professional services company.
More recently, he co-founded FLASHiZ, a financial services company focused on mobile payment solutions. After that, he spent two years with KPMG, another professional services company.
Alex then co-founded Alero Ventures, a company providing mentoring services to startups and investment advice to venture capitalists. He then was Chief Operating Officer at Wenity, an internet services company.
He earned a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Polytech’Lille and another Master’s in Marketing from IAE France.
Before joining Predictiv in March 2019, Mhy-Lanie was a clinical researcher at Ochsner Health, where she focused on genetics research. Prior to that, she co-founded Immidee Technologies, a legal business providing immigration case management services.
She began her career as a senior immigration case manager with Goeschi Law Corporation. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.D. from The University of Queensland, and a Master’s degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins.
Alexander began his career as a webmaster at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After that, he was Web Manager with Framingham Heart Study, a project in collaboration with The Human Genome Project related to genetic testing and analysis.
More recently, he was Chief Technology Officer of Brelsfoard Technologies, his own technology contracting business. From there, he held the same role with Fiskkit, an internet services company.
Alexander earned a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from Beloit College.