11 July 2023 | Features
Founded in 2019, Hyderabad-based startup GenepoweRx has a core belief that "You are unique, and so should your medical treatment be." The startup’s unique selling proposition (USP) lies in its focus on developing diagnostic tools and delivering clinically actionable personalized medicine recommendations that are effective and affordable. Founded by accomplished doctors, Dr Kalyan Uppaluri and Dr Hima Jyothi Challa, who are American BoardCertified Internal Medicine physicians with over 17 years of experience and specialisation in Clinical Genomics from esteemed institutions such as Stanford University and Harvard Medical School, GenepoweRx is striving for excellence. In conversation with BioSpectrum, Dr Hima Jyothi Challa, Co-founder, GenepoweRx talks about the company’s growth plans and challenges up ahead.
How is GenepoweRx transforming the healthcare industry in India? What are your unique initiatives?
Our groundbreaking approach allows for early disease diagnosis, prompt treatment, and a comprehensive understanding of individual risk factors.
We have introduced several distinctive initiatives that are revolutionising the healthcare industry in India:
By employing innovative technologies and techniques, we target risk stratification, pharmacogenomic reporting, nutrigenomics, fitness assessments, and immune system evaluations. These efforts enable us to provide more precise and personalised treatments for our clients. Additionally, our diagnostic tests facilitate the early identification of genetic mutations, allowing for timely interventions and improved treatment outcomes.
With our genomic medicine solutions, we empower healthcare practitioners to embrace personalised medicine in their practice. Our integrated team, led by physician entrepreneurs, offers valuable support for clinical decision-making. Furthermore, we utilise a patented algorithm and artificial intelligence to accurately interpret genomic and molecular biology databases, providing insights into disease identification and planning patient treatment regimens.
What are the core objectives that you plan to achieve through your venture, and what challenges do you foresee in the process?
Our core objectives are clear and ambitious:
While pursuing these objectives, we anticipate several challenges:
Please share more details about your products & technologies.
Our company offers a range of advanced products and technologies. One notable product is GenepoweRx Total, which features a highly accurate whole exome sequencing test with predictive, prognostic, and preventive capabilities. We take pride in our best-in-class accuracy achieved through our in-house analytics pipeline. To ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines from the American College of Medical Genetics, we validate open-source databases like ClinVar, dbSNP, and Ensembl. Our proprietary database, known as the 'GenC' database, is registered with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
In addition, we offer several other germline testing products, including the GenepoweRx Pharmacogenomics test, Diabetes Care test, Nephro Care test, Wellness test, Test for Epilepsy health, Pedia Health test, Cardiac Care test, Neuromuscular Health test, Test for Reproductive Health, Ortho Health test, Derma Care, and Anti-ageing test.
For somatic testing focused on targeted and immunotherapies, we have OncoRx. This product utilises the Memorial Sloan Kettering Knowledge database, which is the only FDA-recognised database available globally, for annotating and reporting findings. OncoRx has been developed in direct comparison with Foundation One and analyses approximately 351 biomarkers.
How big is your team? Are you hiring more talent, and under what expertise?
Our team at GenepoweRx is composed of highly skilled professionals with diverse backgrounds and expertise. Currently, our team consists of approximately 50 individuals with expertise in various fields. Our team members come from backgrounds such as Genetics, Biotechnology, Pharmacy, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Genetics, Bioinformatics, Engineering, and Data Science. We have also assembled a team of experienced Genetic Counselors who play a vital role in providing guidance and support to our clients.
As we continue to grow and expand our operations, we are actively seeking to add more talented individuals to our team. We are particularly interested in hiring professionals with expertise in business analytics, marketing, and other relevant areas. By bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds, we foster a collaborative and innovative environment that drives our mission to transform the healthcare industry through genetic testing.
Are you exploring new collaborations or partnerships?
Absolutely! We are focused on establishing strategic collaborations to drive innovation, expand our impact, and create value for our investors.
We have already formed numerous partnerships and collaborations with renowned healthcare organisations, leading diagnostic chains, and wellness centers, both domestically and internationally. These collaborations are instrumental in advancing genetic testing for wellness, preventive diagnostics, and oncology, harnessing genomic insights to enable personalised medicine.
Our partners are confident in our proactive approach to drive precision in healthcare. These collaborations not only enhance our expertise but also position us at the forefront of cutting-edge personalised medicine solutions.
What are the current challenges facing the startup sector in our country, especially the ones that are exploring emerging technologies such as genomics, precision medicine etc.? How do you plan to address those challenges?
The startup sector in our country, especially those delving into emerging technologies like genomics and precision medicine, faces several challenges. These include:
To address these challenges, we have devised strategic approaches:
By addressing these challenges head-on, we are confident in our ability to thrive in the startup sector and shape the future of genomics and precision medicine in our country.
Dr Manbeena Chawla