Genes Made Spanish startup genome encyclopedia turning that can be consulted at any time - "We believe in Personalized Health, which does not bet on a solution for everyone, but seeks the best answer for each person." This summarizes the philosophy of the Catalan biosanitary startup Made of Genes, Oscar Flores co-founder and CEO of the company in an interview with Business Insider Spain.

Made of Genes is the brand of Personalized Health Services of Genomcore, S. L, a company dedicated to the management and analysis of biomedical data, which was born in 2015 as a project in the classrooms of ESADE developed by Flores and Miquel Àngel Bru.

"We detected a number of problems in Personalized Medicine and genetic analysis," recalls Flores. From the very beginning, the founders dreamed of creating a kind of repository of a person'S DNA so that a person's genome would not have to be sequenced more than once.

"DNA doesn't change. If we could keep it and make it available to doctors and patients it would be like an encyclopedia that you consult little by little as needs arise", thought at that time the founders.

However, the idea was short-lived at the time because sequencing the genome was very expensive, recognizes the CEO of Made of Genes.

The effort was not in vain because entrepreneurs discovered that the emerging sector of genomics and personalized health required a large management of personal data that could be carried out within the narrow framework that sets the regulation of the health sector.

Genes Made Spanish startup genome encyclopedia turning

And Genomcore has pioneered the management and sharing of biomedical data, winning the collaboration of important actors in the health sector, among which stands out the European leader in laboratory analysis, Synlab.

However, at the end of 2019 they resumed the initial idea and the business has been divided between Genomcare and Made of Genes, focused on personalized health through genetic studies, but also other type of markers such as biochemicals, Flores points out.

Right now the startup works in two lines-diagnosis of disease risk and well-being-and has products for nutrition, sports and aging in collaboration with Synlab.

What is the underlying idea? "We start from a person who is healthy, not from a sick person," warns Flores. The idea is to use the information contained in your genes to optimize health and anticipate possible diseases.

"Combining the study of your susceptibilities to genetic level with the information of a blood analysis conventional we can offer a comprehensive view of your health and prioritize actions to improve your wellness and maintain your quality of life", summary from the company.

"Why does a diet work well for my co-worker and not for me? How does coffee affect my sleep?", specifies flowers. Those questions can be answered by interpreting your DNA well, something fields like oncology have been putting into practice for years to determine how a patient will respond to a drug or treatment, for example.

The main idea of the founders of Made of Genes is to combine clinical genetics with consumer genetics. In fact its customers are the big channels, such as insurers, but also point directly to the end user.

They have recently launched a specific service for COVID-19: "a comprehensive test that combines the analysis of newly identified genetic markers with an IgG antibody test and biochemical analysis to find out whether a user has passed the infection, whether immunity has been generated, whether there is a risk of major respiratory complications if infected and how the risk of comorbidities can be reduced." Interested persons can buy the test directly for 95 euros.

How to protect a person's most important data: the big challenge of Made of Genes

There may not be more intimate information about a person than the DNA itself. How is such information protected? According to Flores himself, it is quite a challenge, since it is very sensitive data and takes up a lot of space, but precisely in that his company has specialized.

"We are the only company in southern Europe that has three ISO certifications," says Flores. Specifically, the company complies with ISO 27001, ISO 27017 and ISO 27018 standards in privacy and security management.

"We do not seek to monetize the data," says the founder. The startup has even developed a patent in security and informed consent management.

Made of Genes closes an expansion of 2.4 million euros in the middle of the pandemic

In 2016, the startup received the MIT Technology Review Spain award as one of the top 10 innovative projects in Spain for its genomic analysis model.

Since its foundation it has had the financial support of the European Commission, Wayra and business angels in the sector such as Albert Armengol (Doctoralia) or Carlos Gallardo (Almirall).

Recently, the startup closed a capital increase of 2.4 million euros, led by the FCV Equity Fund and where Scale Lab Andorra, Break off Capital and small investors have also participated through the Capital Cell platform.

The funds will go primarily to "establish and strengthen Made of Genes," explains Flores. The goal in the near future to expand internationally, recognizes the founder, who has his eye on markets such as the Arab Emirates or Colombia.

Genes Made Spanish startup genome encyclopedia turning

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