DNA Business: Traps and Tips
Professor Elena Baranova, founder of BARANOVA MONACO® and President of the EU Institute of Personalised Prevention® & Health (Monaco) shares her secrets on DNA business.
What are the major DNA world trends of the 21st century?
DNA is part of everyday life, from genetic testing to DNA computer games. However, the main DNA trend in medicine right now is contradiction. There is a real gulf between highly sophisticated biotechnological methods for gene/SNP detection and extremely lowquality genetic result interpretations for prevention purposes with regard to the person and recommendations given. Furthermore, on the one hand we can see big progress in personalised medicine development based on epigenomics. In this regard, the world personalised medicine market has a 20% growth rate year-on-year, according to a recent EU Commission Personalised Medicine expert panel, within which I have the honour to participate. On the other hand, less than 9% of all genetic services in the world are able to provide personalised DNA reports (according to NuGO; Nutrigenomics Organisation). Owing to the lack of qualified specialists and novelty of the subject, there is much speculation with regard to genetic data, particularly genetic test result interpretation for anti-ageing and prevention. Modern genetics can be compared with nuclear energy: it can be either very helpful or extremely harmful. Interestingly, nobody pretends to be a specialist in nuclear physics; however, it is surprising how easily genetic information is manipulated,representing a dangerous social phenomenon.
What are the major DNA world trends of the 21st century?
The consequences are dramatic for patients owing to the often misleading and inadequate recommendations given. I often see such patients after they have had their genetic profile assessed elsewhere, and been totally disappointed by unreliable hyperdiagnostics as a result of the doctor not understanding the difference between mutation and polymorphism, risk notions, genetics and genomics, and providing advice that is not personalised. This active ignorance brings new ethical problems, as well as budget increases, gene test restrictions and new specialists, such as genetic lawyers.
The approach of BARANOVA MONACO® is an holistic and highly personalised epigenomic method, which analyses also gene–gene and environment–gene interactions.
What are the main DNA business traps?
The main trap or pitfall of this business is the gene choice. Often the laboratories or DNA business companies will base their choice on technical aspects— what is easier to test, and not the personalised prevention option. Furthermore, short, easy-to-sell panels for prevention purposes are rather harmful owing to the lack of significant gene–gene and environment–gene interaction analysis, and potentially important missed health information.
The next trap is non-personalised interpretation. The conclusions are based on gene results only, without taking into account individual data, which is a serious mistake in anti-ageing and preventive genomics. Indeed, these particular preventive ‘modulator of risk’ genes have only a 10–15% impact on the final result and cannot be interpreted alone. Nevertheless, the majority of standardreports include just gene characteristics and partial, often simplistic, descriptive scientific data, which does not correspond to evidence-based medicine criteria. Interestingly, the same data can be easily found using a google search, free of charge, and therefore, cannot be considered personalised. Finally, the third trap is speculation with regard to scientific data. Single descriptive articles are often used to justify the tests of some genes; nevertheless, it has no credibility or evidence base. Only around 0.04% of all published articles can be considered clinically credible for practice. Indeed, genetic marketing usually neglects to inform the customer correctly.
In this context, the highly personalised approach of BARANOVA MONACO® has become requested all the more. Can you tell us about its practical applications?
The approach of BARANOVA MONACO® is an holistic and highly personalised epigenomic method, which not only analyses single genes, but also gene–gene and environment–gene interactions, including detailed individual and clinical data. Futhermore, BARANOVA MONACO’s unique ‘Programmes for Life’®always includes aspects of functional medicine with regard to the revealed genomic data. New epigenomic recommendations based on the optimisation of gene activity contain qualitative and quantitative information for each particular case.
We are able to obtain high clinical efficiency in patients with the help of these programmes, which explains the increase in requests in new countries. Such requests and the current situation in genomics has pushed me to accept and consult with an increasing number of patients and clinics. I really like to help people—both patients and physicians—to avoid becoming ‘victims’ of DNA business. Interestingly, there are also increased requests for previously tested patients by other companies, who do not really know what to do with their results.
Which other countries and centres you are working with?
BARANOVA MONACO® collaborates with a number leading clinics. At present we have many requests coming from Russia and the Middle East, as well as Switzerland, France, the United States and, of course, Monaco. We are open for collaboration with reliable partners—clinics and advanced spas—interested in highly personalised approaches to anti-ageing and personalised medicine.
Can you tell us more about the BARANOVA MONACO® range of food supplements?
This very special, new nutraceutic line, called geneceuticals® owing to its profound capabilities, has been created according to unique formulae, using specific quantum genomics know-how to increase the efficiency of the ingredients used and to optimise gene expression, creating a strong personalised anti-ageing effect.
Special BARANOVA MONACO® protocols are developed and applied for the correct use of this powerful tool. Furthermore, I am deeply convinced that personalised prevention and anti-ageing should bring pleasure and beauty to our lives. For this reason, this special design has been developed, and this product line has become not only highly effective, but also one of the first real luxury lines in this sector of activity. Products are available via the internet www.regeneproducts.com.