Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2024

Personalised medicine: from home genetic testing to biotech research

I was surprised to learn that a well-known home genetic testing company had transformed into a biotech firm. They are now conducting research in immuno-oncology and branching into various fields such as cancer, cardiovascular, and neurology. Why did they make this change? Apparently, this was a "logical" transition that they had planned to leverage the millions of people's genetic data they had collected. This data can help identify patterns in our DNA to improve our understanding of human health and diseases. The biotech industry is increasingly embracing cell and gene therapies to provide customised treatments whereby therapies are tailored to an individual's unique genetic makeup. Personalised medicine uses a person's genetic profile to help inform decisions to help prevent, diagnose, treat, and even halt disease progression. What do you think about this transition and the use of consumer health data? Further reading:

Personalised nutrition: the good, the bad and the ugly...

Have you heard of personalised nutrition (PN) Despite gaining popularity in recent years, PN has been around for at least 40 years. In the past decade, the commercial PN sector has grown due to investor interest and affordable direct-to-consumer (D2C) testing devices. I’m sure you’ve seen PN ads on social media, especially in the past month. THE GOOD Improved health outcomes: PN tailors your diet to your genes, gut microbiome, lifestyle, and goals, leading to better weight management, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and improved energy levels. Enhanced motivation and adherence: The Food4Me study found that personalised dietary advice based on eating habits motivated positive changes in diet and lifestyle. A deeper understanding of your body: PN helps you make informed choices about your eating habits based on your health metrics and food intake. THE BAD Accessibility and cost: Personalised nutrition plans, which involve advanced technologies, face-to-face consultations with nutrition

How one drug can treat multiple conditions

Sometimes, a drug that works for one condition can also have benefits for another one because the human body has many intricate mechanisms and processes—for example, Science’s 2023 breakthrough of the year - GLP-1 agonists. When researchers develop a drug, they focus on a specific target, like managing blood sugar in diabetes. But sometimes, these drugs can work on other targets, too. Semaglutide (a GLP-1 agonist), for example, not only boosts insulin production but also reduces appetite and slows digestion, leading to weight loss with some ‘manageable’ side effects. This unexpected benefit opened the door for its approval in obesity treatment. After realising this breakthrough, doctors started prescribing Semaglutide off-label as a weight loss medication. This unexpected benefit opened the door for its approval in obesity treatment. Off-label prescribing: why? Even for approved uses, not every drug works for every patient. Doctors, with their clinical expertise, can sometimes prescrib