• By Colette Gallagher

New Mayo Clinic GeneGuide DNA testing application provides genetic testing, insights backed by Mayo Clinic expertise

October 1, 2018

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic released a new DNA product with Helix, a personal genomics company, called "Mayo Clinic GeneGuide." The DNA-powered product provides healthy individuals with genetic testing and insights with a focus on education. This product is backed by Mayo medical science and expertise.

“The Mayo Clinic GeneGuide app uses the highest quality data to provide individuals with personal genomic insights, backed up with world class educational material helping users to understand their results and learn the language of genetics,” says Matthew Ferber, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic genomics researcher who led the development of the app.

Watch:  Dr. Matthew Ferber

When an individual orders Mayo Clinic GeneGuide, the process begins with a Mayo-affiliated physician reviewing the individual’s health history. If Mayo Clinic GeneGuide is appropriate for the individual, the physician orders the test through Helix’s clinical lab that is accredited by the College of American Pathologists. Then Helix will ship a saliva collection kit to the individual within two days.

Once Helix receives the saliva sample at its accredited lab, the DNA is sequenced, resulting in 100 times more data than other types of genetic testing. These data are stored securely for future use. Then the genetic insights are interpreted by Mayo Clinic and the results are accessible on the Mayo Clinic GeneGuide web application.

Users receive genetic test reports that educate on health and disease risk. Health and disease risks range from complex illnesses and hereditary genetic conditions to how the body processes certain over-the-counter medications and physician-prescribed anesthesia. Decision-making tools help people better understand potential risks for specific health conditions. Individuals also can share their results with their health care provider for informed decision-making on actions related to their health.

"Mayo Clinic GeneGuide is an important step forward in helping people make informed health decisions involving DNA, and is a critical health product on the Helix platform," says Justin Kao, senior vice president and co-founder at Helix. “People are highly motivated to learn about how their DNA impacts their health. We harness the power of DNA sequencing, which allows us to offer health products that give more accurate risk indications. By partnering with Mayo Clinic on this product we are excited to advance our mission to empower every person to improve their lives through DNA.”

Mayo Clinic GeneGuide features include:

  • Analysis of disease-causing genes for specific mutations associated with common hereditary conditions
  • Educational modules written by Mayo Clinic experts who teach users about genetics and the specific conditions tested for by Mayo Clinic GeneGuide
  • Additional content added over time powered by Helix’s Exome+ platform and available to users without requiring a new sample
  • Secure and protected database
  • Express consent which gives control to the user over how his or her genetic data is used and shared with any third party
  • Access to Mayo Clinic-affiliated health care providers and their knowledge base, including genetic counselors
  • Powered by Helix’s Exome+ DNA sequencing, which reads and securely stores 100 times more data than other tests, enabling users to access additional products and services from the Helix store without providing another saliva sample

“We need to work toward a future where everyone can benefit from individualized medicine products and services. Mayo Clinic GeneGuide will introduce genomics to a broader audience that Mayo Clinic aspires to engage and educate,” says Keith Stewart, M.B., CH.B., Carlson and Nelson Endowed Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. “This is part of the future of medicine in which we routinely employ genomics and empower individuals to help predict and prevent disease.”

Dr. Ferber is available for interviews upon request.

Disclosure: Mayo Clinic has a financial interest in Helix.

Mayo Clinic GeneGuide is not available in Md., N.Y., N.J., R.I., and Pa.

Visit the Mayo Clinic GeneGuide website or the Helix product description page.

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About Helix
Helix is a personal genomics company with a simple but powerful mission: to empower every person to improve his or her life through DNA. Helix has created the first marketplace for DNA-powered products where people can explore diverse and uniquely personalized products developed by high-quality partners. Helix handles sample collection, DNA sequencing and secure data storage so that its partners can integrate DNA insights into products across a range of categories, including ancestry, health, wellness and entertainment. From profound insights to just-for-fun discoveries, Helix is here to help people live a fuller life. Helix is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, has an office in Denver, and operates a next-generation sequencing lab in San Diego that is accredited by Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments and College of American Pathologists, and powered by Illumina (Nasdaq:ILMN) NGS technology. Helix was created in 2015 with founding support from Illumina Inc., its largest shareholder. Learn more on the Helix website.

About Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine
The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine discovers and integrates the latest in genomic, molecular and clinical sciences into personalized care for each Mayo Clinic patient. For more information, visit the Center for Individualized Medicine website.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, comprehensive care to everyone who needs healing. Learn more about Mayo ClinicVisit the Mayo Clinic News Network.

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