Helix unveils 1st direct-to-consumer marketplace for genetic testing

Helix, a direct-to-consumer genomics company, launched the first online marketplace to offer customers personalized products based on genetic testing.

The Helix marketplace comprises more than 20 DNA-based products related to ancestry, fitness and nutrition. The initial selection includes National Geographic's ancestry product, called Geno 2.0 Next Generation, and Vinome's personalized wine preferences profile, called Wine Explorer. Helix developed the marketplace by partnering with fitness app developers, genomics companies and healthcare institutions.

Helix collects and sequences each customer's DNA, including all 22,000 protein-coding genes, based on a one-time saliva sample. The company then shares the relevant portion of the DNA with each third-party vendor from which the customer ordered a product. Helix securely stores each customer's DNA to enable additional ordering without providing another saliva sample.

The goal of the marketplace is to "make genomics accessible and actionable for every person," according to Helix CEO Robin Thurston. "Our understanding of how DNA impacts health and wellness is advancing rapidly and we are moving towards an era where insights from your DNA will be essential to how you live and the decisions you make, from the moment you wake up until the minute you go to sleep," he said.

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