Toolbox Genomics secures funding, to start beta testing

“Our goal is to deliver personalized, actionable, evidence-based recommendations at a reasonable price" - Dr Erika Gray, PharmD, founder and chief medical officer

ToolBox Genomics (TBG), a new entrant to the personalized wellness sector, has secured seed round funding and will soon begin beta testing its direct to consumer Health Action Report for customers.

The company plans to tap into the 1.5 million users of the 23andMe genomics analysis and translates that into comprehensive, evidence-based lifestyle recommendations for diet, exercise, and supplements.

TBG is the brainchild of Dr Erika Gray, PharmD, who kept being asked for lifestyle recommendations based on results of 23andMe tests, explained Didier Perez, the company’s CEO. “Erika and Elvina [co-founder Elvina Hewitt, RN, MBA] manually trawled through PubMed evaluating the research connecting specific SNPs and lifestyle changes,” he said. “Over the last year the company has built a software to provide 23andMe customers a place to upload their data and be issued with a recommendation.”

The recommendations are based on data relating to about 60 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) that are “actionable”. The company has reportedly reviewed over 7,000 PubMed scientific publications and identified the most relevant reports with links between genetic biomarkers, and food, fitness and lifestyle interventions.

With beta testing to be completed soon, the company plans to launch its Health Action Report to consumers in Q1 2017 at a cost of $49. There is no official partnership with 23andMe, said Perez, but once consumers have completed the 23andMe genotyping they can upload their 23andMe data at to receive a personalized report. 

Perez added that the company will then explore a subscription service, which would be free for one year, that would give subscribers access to dietitians, nutritionists, exercise counselors and more, as well as a compliance system, but this could take the whole or 2017 to build, he said.

TBG is not the only company to offer recommendations based on 23andMe data: Supplement brand Pure Encapsulations offers its Pure Genomics platform via the health practitioner channel.

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