DNA, gut bacteria and (soon) even more: Here's how Atlas Biomed is tackling the UK's personalised wellness craze

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Sergey Musienko co-founded Atlas Biomed (Source: Atlas Biomed)

A newly established health tech company is bringing ultra-personalised wellness to the UK, and according to its chief executive the sector is set to boom.

Atlas Biomed earlier this month began selling DNA home testing kits that provide consumers with a detailed genetic profile as well as a first-of-its-kind microbiome service that analyses the bacteria in a customer's gut. 

Sergey Musienko, co-founder and chief executive of the British firm, told City A.M. today the potential for Atlas is huge thanks to a perfect storm of falling costs and a growing interest in personalised health from consumers and pharmaceutical companies.

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"The UK market is a fantastic place for the introduction of these technologies," Musienko said.

The fast-growing global genomics market is worth £8bn, and the UK market is leading this at a pace that is currently set to overtake the global market by 25 per cent, according to Atlas.

The market for microbiomes is also set to grow: The offshoot within the larger genomics market is expected to be worth £3.2bn by 2024 showing there's a strong potential for spin-offs within the personalised health market.

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New technologies and new markets

Atlas, which was founded this year, aims to keep bringing new techologies within the biomedical industry to the consumer-facing market, and the tech is advancing "exponentially".

"With all these new arising technologies we’ll be looking to bring as many as we can to the consumers and empower them by knowledge," Musienko said.

For instance, he mentioned a technology that analyses different gene expressions called trascriptomics which is currently being developed.

"It's a complex technology right now, but I'm absolutely sure they will find a way to the market in the next several years."

Since the completion of the human genome project in 2003, Musienko said costs have also been dramatically reduced - from around $3bn to sequence one human genome at the time to just around $1,000 today. Atlas' kits cost £125 for DNA testing or £149 for microbiome testing.

The company is looking at any way to shift the conversation around healthcare to a proactive angle.

“Too great a focus is put on reactive care," Musienko said when the products were first launched. “Moving forwards, there has to be a focus on preventive care, and giving people control over their health before conditions develop.”

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