Sciona gains license to explore Asian nutrigenomics potential

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Patent Genetics

Australia's Genetic Technologies (GTG) has bestowed a license to
its non-coding DNA patents to personalised nutrition company
Sciona, which is expected to be the start of a long relationship in
the lifestyle and life-extension arena.

US-based Sciona, of which Dutch chemicals group DSM is the majority shareholder, is one of a band of companies at the forefront of nutrigenomics and personalised nutrition. It sells patented, personalised genetic tests to consumers, and offers non-medical lifestyle counselling and genetic screening. The companies have said that the nine-year license is regarded as the first step in a "progressive cooperation".​ In particular, it gives Sciona clout to further its expansion in the Asian Pacific Market. GTG claims to have the leading testing laboratory in the region in Melbourne, Australia, which will serve as a genotyping centre for Sciona products. "Our regional testing services will allow consumers to get their results much faster than sending samples to the other side of the world,"​ said Genetic Technologies CEO Dr Mervyn Jacobson. The personalised genetic testing market in Asia Pacific is said to be growing, as a result of consumer interest - although no data were immediately available to demonstrate this growth. Sciona CEO Peter Vitulli said that GTG's IP will also allow his company to extend its product offerings and research endeavours. Moreover, by combining GTG's non-coding DNA patents with its business model patent, which covers the use of computer-based algorhythms to analyse genetic variations, he expects to be able to "develop and explore exciting and new commercial opportunities in the field of nutrigenomics".​ Nutrigenomics is the science of how food and ingested nutrients affect genes - particularly those related to disease prevention. It is the core underlying technology behind addressing nutritional aspects that may show up as part of a personlised genetic test. This is not the first time that GTG has granted a license to its non-coding patents. In December 2006 it granted a similar one to Austria's Genosense, which also covers the lifestyle and anti-ageing markets. GTG and Sciona will also work together on joint licensing and enforcement of both GTG's non-coding DNA parents and Sciona's business model patent.

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