SOUTH AFRICA – Mediclinic Southern Africa has announced its investment in precision medicine with the acquisition of an 80% shareholding in Artisan Biomed, a subsidiary of the Centre for Proteomic & Genomic Research (CPGR) which owns the remaining 20%.

Artisan Biomed was launched through the CPGR’s accelerator programme to stimulate the creation of South African start-ups in Omics technologies based on an initiative by the Department of Science and Innovation and supported with funding by the Technology Innovation Agency.

“This acquisition of Artisan Biomed launches Mediclinic Precise, a bundle of DNA-based diagnostic and clinical interpretation services offering a new approach to healthcare, based on an individual’s genetic profile to customise their wellness, disease prevention and health management plan,” said Greg van Wyk, chief executive officer of Mediclinic Southern Africa.

The cutting-edge genomics expertise provides advanced clinical insights in areas such as oncology, reproductive health, paediatrics, pharmacogenetics and nutrigenetics.

Mediclinic Precise will take a phased approach in introducing services, starting with ancestry testing kits now available on Takealot.

The second phase will launch mid-March 2023 with Panorama non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) to identify chromosome abnormalities in a baby using a non-invasive test on pregnant mothers and pharmacogenetics (PGx) DNA testing to identify appropriate medicine based on a patient’s DNA. Future tests will include oncology, newborn risk screening and rare disease testing.

“In terms of genetics, better data generation technologies, as well as our understanding of the role of genetic markers in disease, will create valuable insights, and thus improve clinical outcomes, when applied to previously under-represented population groups,” chief operations officer of Mediclinic Precise Lindsay Petersen, said.

“The more individuals that are tested, the more this will lead to ensuring the right insights at the right time for all patients.”

Mediclinic Precise will continue to work in partnership with the CPGR laboratory, which contains world-class, comprehensive omics technology services in genomics, proteomics, transcript-omics and metabolomics.

Lab-generated data and clinical expertise

The high-performance computing power of laboratory-generated data with clinical expertise in combination with family history, lifestyle and environmental factors will provide greater value to patients by ensuring the best outcomes and limiting ineffective treatments.

Mediclinic chief executive officer, Greg van Wyk adds that they are committed to expanding access to quality care for South Africans across the care continuum.

“For many years, we have been focused on broadening access to healthcare from primary care, emergency medicine, step-down facilities, renal services, and mental wellness to acute care and other supporting services – making the continuum of care a unified patient journey,” said Greg.

“I am excited about the potential of this expansion into precision medicine. It aligns with efforts by our other Mediclinic divisions, where outcomes are being driven by greater knowledge of our patient’s unique needs to personalise their care.”

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