Genomic Insights / Wellness

The Power of Clinical-Grade Consumer Whole-Genome Wellness Scans

elderly asian couple going for a jog

The first trial of WuXi NextCODE's whole-genome sequencing consumer product, HealthCODE, demonstrates the potential for WGS to support health and wellness.

Results from early customers of WuXi NextCODE’s HealthCODE consumer whole-genome wellness scan in China were presented at the American College of Medical Genetics 2017 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

  • Participants have, on average, significantly increased risk of four out of 28 common diseases. Identifying this allows for focused lifestyle modification and other preventive measures.
  • 1% are carriers of ACMG59 variants and 37% are carriers for at least one of 400 recessive traits, alerting them and their children to the need for pre-conception carrier testing
  • Customers can participate in research – with HIPAA-compliant privacy protection – creating a major resource of WGS data to further power WuXi NextCODE’s global knowledgebase

PIONEERING GLOBAL BEST PRACTICES WHOLE-GENOME PERSONAL WELLNESS IN CHINA

HealthCODE, launched in late 2016, delivers wellness using the same platform and standards that WuXi NextCODE provides to its whole genome sequencing (WGS) wellness partners in the US and Europe:

  • CLIA/CAP certified sequencing
  • Population-specific multiplicative risk modeling by WuXi NextCODE’s global genetics team
  • HIPAA-compliant privacy protection
  • Pre- and post-scan counseling delivered by qualified medical professionals

WuXi NextCODE CEO, Hannes Smarason, explains how Chinese users apply genomic insights to improve their health:

Chinese consumers want to use the genome to support their own health and to contribute to the advance of precision medicine in China and around the world. HealthCODE uniquely enables them to do this, enjoying the same internationally certified clinical grade sequencing and the world-leading analytics we deliver to our partners around the world.

THE POTENTIAL OF WGS FOR SUPPORTING HEALTH AND WELLNESS

This first pilot analysis of results from 200 of the first HealthCODE customers underscores the potential of WGS for supporting health and wellness.

The scan uses WuXi NextCODE’s proprietary risk modeling to gauge each individual’s inherited risk of 28 common complex diseases like hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart attack. On average, participants are at more than 1.5-times average risk of four common diseases. This provides them and their doctors important information about lifestyle changes, monitoring, and even medicines they should consider to counteract those risks and increase their chances of staying healthy.

For example, roughly 18% of participants are at >1.5 times average inherited risk for type 2 diabetes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are hundreds of millions of people in China with prediabetes.

By getting a clinical-grade scan, such as HealthCODE, it is possible to target those individuals at highest inherited risk of becoming diabetic with annual fasting glucose measurement and physician-supervised lifestyle changes. This can deliver better prevention for individuals, as well as create a growing resource of whole-genome data that can be correlated with medical and outcomes data to develop an ever more refined picture of genetic risk factors and effective prevention strategies.

We’re interested to see what more insights are gained as the number of HealthCODE customers increase, but the initial findings all point towards great potential.