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Imagine having access to a personalised health report through your mobile device — one that could provide you with a lifetime of actionable medical and lifestyle insights.
It may sound futuristic, but such a report is available today through the global genomics and precision medicine company Dante Labs.
In recent years, biotech companies like Ancestry and 23andMe have popularised DNA testing amongst consumers who would like to trace their lineage. But Andrea Riposati, Dante Labs’ CEO and co-founder, explains that whole genome sequencing can offer so much more and is only the beginning of DNA data-driven personalised medicine.
Here, we’ll explore how Dante Labs’ comprehensive genomic testing helps consumers take control of their health, make better lifestyle decisions, and protect their well-being.
Why Dante Labs Offers Whole Genome Sequencing
In contrast to traditional DNA tests that conduct partial genomic sequencing, Dante Labs specialises in sequencing the entire genome.
From birth, our DNA functions as a unique “code” that informs everything from our height and eye colour to the kinds of diseases that we can get. Our DNA also determines how our bodies react to external agents such as medicine, food, and nutrients.
By looking at a customer’s entire DNA, Dante Labs provides a rich genomic analysis that this individual can use to understand their health and improve their lifestyle. Customers with such personalised information at their fingertips benefit from an invaluable asset that can help them make changes today and make informed decisions should they face health conditions in future.
Dante Labs’ MyGenome Sequencing Test
Dante Labs offers various DNA testing and analysis solutions, including the MyGenome Sequencing Test. The test is unique in that it uses next-generation sequencing technology and covers 100% of the genome (other DNA tests tend to cover less than 0.02%).
Rather than purchasing separate genetic tests for answers to individual questions about their health, Dante Labs customers purchase this single test, which explores the whole genome and answers multiple questions at once.
Alongside a comprehensive analysis and report of their entire DNA, customers receive the following reports:
A health report that includes personalised information on gene variants, insights into hereditary and rare diseases, and advice on managing and treating health conditions.
A nutrition and wellness report that explains their unique dietary profile, including information on their allergies and intolerances, body composition, sleep characteristics, and personality traits.
A fitness report that leverages their genetic strengths to help them formulate an optimised exercise and diet regime.
Customers can also purchase a variety of specialised reports for greater in-depth genome analysis.
The MyGenome Sequencing Test includes a one-hour genetic counselling session. Plus, as science progresses and scientists gain deeper insights into the field of genetics, the MyGenome Sequencing Test provides customers with regular updates regarding their DNA results.
Customers can access and query their genomic data whenever they like, meaning answers to specific health-related questions can be ready in minutes at any point during their lifetimes.
How Dante Labs Is Changing Lives Through Personalised Healthcare
Healthcare solutions should not be billed as one size fits all. Instead, Andrea Riposati argues that our approach to health should be as individual as our DNA. Dante Labs’ personalised whole genome sequencing service is already providing life-changing health benefits to consumers.
With detailed, comprehensive genomic data readily available through their MyGenome Sequencing Test results, Dante Labs customers can provide medical information to their doctors and receive personalised treatments. Doctors can use their patients’ reports to provide more accurate diagnoses, avoid prescribing drugs that the patient is unlikely to respond well to, and fine-tune treatment dosages.
Andrea Riposati shares one example of a Dante Labs customer, Jennifer, who received a cancer diagnosis (despite not being predisposed to the disease).
Fortunately, 18 months before her cancer diagnosis, Jennifer had sequenced her entire DNA with Dante Labs. She was able to provide her doctor with her pharmacogenomics report — an analysis of her reaction to drugs and medicines based on her genome — generated through the Dante Labs platform.
As Jennifer’s report revealed that she was likely to have an adverse reaction to the number one chemotherapy drug in the U.S., her doctor removed the drug from her therapy plan and chose another. This decision helped Jennifer avoid six months of painful side effects during her cancer treatment.
Rare Disease Patients
Patients with rare diseases have also benefited from sequencing their whole genome with Dante Labs.
When attempting to accurately diagnose an individual with a rare disease, doctors typically order partial genetic tests that only look at a few genes. If the results of these tests come back negative, doctors repeat the process, hypothesising different diseases and running specific genetic tests each time.
Andrea Riposati describes this as a trial-and-error approach that has led to some rare disease patients being denied a clear diagnosis, often for years. In contrast, Dante Labs’ whole genome sequencing approach is holistic and unbiased as the test isn’t searching for confirmation of one specific diagnosis.
Rare disease patients who analyse their whole genome with the company receive comprehensive reports based on their medical history. Often, rare disease patients also receive a correct diagnosis of their condition after having endured many years of uncertainty.
Patient-Centric, Data-Driven Drug Discovery
Through whole genome sequencing, Dante Labs provided one customer and her doctor with an accurate rare disease diagnosis. Andrea Riposati explains that upon learning that this disease had no treatment, the company realised its responsibility towards customers and began to help develop therapies based on genomic data.
Using its genetic database, the company identified other patients with the same incurable disease. With their permission, Dante Labs clustered these patients’ genomes to identify drug targets and collect DNA discrepancies. The company used this data to develop a molecule that could cure and treat the disease.
This is an example of patient-centric, data-driven drug discovery. Most pharmaceutical companies use the opposite approach, first identifying a molecule and then collecting data to understand its clinical applications.
Dante Labs starts with the patients and their data, using artificial intelligence (AI) to develop effective drug candidates. The company only brings forward a drug candidate that has passed multiple tests, including preclinical trials. Drug candidates developed from whole genome sequencing data are twice as likely to succeed in clinical trials at half the cost.
Andrea Riposati acknowledges that there is still some consumer uncertainty surrounding genomic sequencing, often relating to data privacy concerns. For instance, some may fear that DNA testing companies will share their data with insurance or pharmaceutical companies.
Whenever Dante Labs wishes to use genomic data for discovering drug candidates and new therapies (such as in the case of the patients who have rare diseases), the company only does so after gaining a customer’s consent. Even then, Dante Labs uses the data internally and never shares it with external organisations.
The Lifelong Insurance of Genomic Sequencing
Another common consumer concern around DNA testing is discovering unwanted medical information, perhaps because they may be at risk of developing a disease that doesn’t yet have a treatment. Andrea Riposati notes that some customers who sequence their genomes ask Dante Labs to exclude some information from their extensive reports.
Also, some customers might only return to their results and query them when and if a medical issue arises. In these circumstances, customers who already have their whole genome sequenced can quickly provide their doctor with valuable insights.
Andrea Riposati describes whole genome sequencing as taking out insurance against future health concerns. We don’t buy car insurance because we hope to get in an accident, but to protect ourselves should an accident occur. Sequencing your genome now can provide a valuable tool to use when, or only if, you need it.
The Future of Personalised Genomic Sequencing
With personalised medicine already altering the healthcare landscape, it may one day become common practice to sequence the entire DNA of newborns. This would prepare individuals with a lifetime of actionable medical knowledge that they and their doctors can apply to their healthcare from birth.
Sequencing newborns’ genomes wouldn’t only enable the early prevention of certain diseases and conditions but also help parents provide their children with a personalised approach to lifestyle and health management.
Andrea Riposati explains that this could revolutionise the way that future generations manage their health. Doctors would have the tools to avoid adverse reactions to drugs, food allergies, and genetic paediatric diseases, and to quickly implement effective therapies, right at the outset of an individual’s life.
Thanks to Dante Labs’ whole genome sequencing, the future of healthcare may be closer than we think.
About Dante Labs
Dante Labs’ sequencing technologies help individuals understand and manage possible health risks, empower researchers to make pioneering discoveries in genomics, and allow medical practices to provide patients with accurate diagnoses and effective treatment plans.
Led by co-founders Andrea Riposati and Mattia Capulli, the company provides genomic testing and analysis solutions to customers across 97 countries. Even individuals in remote locations who have limited access to hospitals or clinics (like those living in some islands in the Pacific Ocean) can sequence their genomes and benefit from the company’s personalised reports.
Dante Labs’ Medical Advisory Board consists of genomic world leaders with multidisciplinary knowledge across pharmacogenomics, oncogenomics, and nutrigenomics, plus rare diseases in infants and children.
Andrea Riposati and Mattia Capulli founded Dante Labs in 2015. Since then, the company has lowered the price of whole genome sequencing and interpretation, introduced the first AI-powered whole genome report, and acquired Cambridge Cancer Genomics.
In 2019, Andrea Riposati and Mattia Capulli won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the EY Italy “Startup” category. The Award recognises Dante Labs’ efforts to improve accessibility, contribute to developing the local community, and further Italy’s leadership in the genomics sector.
In 2020, Dante Labs won the Best-in-Class Covid Analysis Service Provider Award. The company complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).