The partnership will see Vitage Lab in Mexico City distribute Nordic Group's DNAlife genetic testing platform and oversee the training of medical practitioners across the country on how to use it.
DNAlife tests can only be prescribed by trained practitioners and use a buccal swab of a person's DNA to analyze health management, dietary disposition, athletic performance and drug metabolism. Testing is conducted in Nordic Group's European lab and results and reports are then written and returned to practitioners within three days.
A personalized, preventative approach
Speaking about the recent partnership with Vitage Lab, Chris Moore, MD of Nordic Group, said: “[The two companies] share a similar vision for how healthcare is going to develop over the coming time, driven by this individualized healthcare approach; the implementation of genetics in a proactive strategy.”
“...If we gage nutrigenomics properly, we can use it as a basis of real preventative healthcare strategies,” Moore told NutraIngredients-LATAM.
Mexico, like anywhere else, would benefit from a “change in direction” on how physicians approached their patients, he said.
“We think nutrigenomics should be implied in every patient case. There's an absolute overwhelming body of evidence that says understanding an individual, whatever their age, will help in reducing the impact of lifestyle diseases. It's significant,” he said.
However, Moore said sparking such a shift would take time.
“Healthcare is not a race, it's about getting the right knowledge into the right hands and then taking time for it to be absorbed. I want to see DNAlife products in the hands of every serious clinician in the region we're in. It's a big challenge but none of our competitors do what we do - they're all direct-to-consumer.”
Moore said once enough medical practitioners were trained on how to use and interpret results with DNAlife, Nordic Group would then start to incorporate functional assays, through the likes of urine, stool and saliva tests, based on findings from the original DNA test.
“For example, we might have certain SNPS [single nucleotide polymorphisms] that indicate increased risk of cardiovascular problems. Then you can look at the fatty acid status and find out what's going on there. ...From there, there will be certain supplements that we'll take under our own brand into those territories,” he said.
Nordic Group had around 1,500 supplements in its portfolio, he said, which would be competitive in Latin America where a vast majority of products on the market remained “generic and simplistic”.
“We have a responsibility to look after, not only the development of the industry, but also the customer base. If we sell a product, we must make sure we sell the right story and always challenge our innovation to make a better product with more clinical value. If we do that as an industry, then the global population will see better health.”
Wider LATAM presence
Nordic Group already had a presence in Brazil and Peru with DNAlife. The company managed its own distribution in Brazil, although Moore said that ahead of entering the market it had established a Portuguese company to facilitate ease of business and shipments to and from the country.
In Peru, Nordic Group was working with a local partner who was assisting the local education of health practitioners and distribution of tests.