Phosphorus, New York, N.Y., has launched GeneCompass, which the company says is the first holistic consumer genetic test built with medical-grade technology. Unlike other consumer genetic tests, GeneCompass uses the latest Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology to analyze genes associated with more than 200 health risks and over 200 genetic drug interactions, and provide insights about an additional 40 lifestyle and wellness traits.
Late in 2020, Phosphorus closed a Series A led by healthcare investors Perceptive Advisors. Funds allowed for the expansion of Phosphorus’ genomics technology, historically marketed through enterprise channels, into the consumer segment for the launch of GeneCompass.
“The technology powering GeneCompass is already in use by some well-known commercial laboratories, research institutions, fertility clinics, and hospitals. We worked these past several months to bring down the price through innovations in process, chemistry, and bioinformatics,” says Alexander Bisignano, co-founder and CEO. “We successfully brought a medical-grade test, analogs of which are billed by the big players anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000, to a price point more accessible to the consumer market at $249.”
In addition to making medical-grade technology available at a consumer price point, Phosphorus also provides access to board-certified genetic counselors for all patients with a high-risk result on GeneCompass, included in the price of the test.
“It is time we finally made a medical-grade genetic test available as a proactive, preventative tool. I’m tired of seeing genetics being used to explain what happened after a patient has already been diagnosed with a severe disease or worse. We should be preventing these diseases before they happen,” says Bisignano.
In 2020, with the arrival of COVID-19, Phosphorus quickly pivoted its business model to develop one of the first FDA authorized at-home tests and the first test to receive an asymptomatic, direct-to-consumer approval from the FDA. The rapid development and utilization of Phosphorus’ at home COVID-19 test along with the national trend of increased utilization of telehealth set the stage for Phosphorus to bring its genetic technologies into the consumer-facing, digital health world, starting with GeneCompass.
The GeneCompass test kit can be purchased on the company’s website. After purchase, a kit is sent via FedEx to a customer’s desired address. Following instructions provided within, the customers must register for an account online and collect a saliva sample to be returned to the Phosphorus lab in Secaucus, N.J., using a prepaid FedEx label included in the kit. The customer receives results within 3 to 4 weeks and is contacted by a genetic counselor if appropriate.
Featured image: GeneCompass at-home consumer genetic test kit. Photo: Phosphorus