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Here's How the Genetic Testing Industry Can Get Even Bigger

By Olivia Zitkus - Jan 29, 2021 at 6:30AM

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Genetic testing companies have to appeal to several stakeholders in the healthcare system in order to make it to the next level.

Are you excited about the potential of cutting-edge companies like CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP 1.25%), Fulgent Genetics (FLGT 2.78%), or Invitae Corp. (NVTA 2.94%)? You're not alone. The genetic testing market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.1% between 2020 and 2027 and reach over $21 billion in value, according to a report from Allied Market Research.

Ruby Gadelrab is CEO and Founder of MDisrupt, a platform that connects digital health companies to the scientists and healthcare industry experts they need to build, commercialize, and scale health products quickly and responsibly. Ruby joined Olivia Zitkus and Corinne Cardina of Fool.com's Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau on a Jan. 22 episode of Fool Live to talk about the hard work behind every genetic testing company, and what investors need to know about the future of genetic testing in healthcare.

Olivia Zitkus: I would love to talk a little bit more about the genetic testing industry in general with your experience in that space. You mentioned you worked at 23andMe and then with Everlywell during the pandemic. I'm curious broadly, what is your future vision for genetic testing? Are we just seeing the tip of the iceberg of what value can be unlocked, especially with new at-home capabilities?

Ruby Gadelrab: What I think companies like Everlywell and 23andMe have done is demonstrated a few things that are really critical to the future of our healthcare. We will assume that our healthcare systems are going to evolve over the next 10 years and look completely different, so what has it demonstrated. Firstly, I think they've demonstrated one, that consumers and patients can effectively collect a sample at home and ship it back to the lab. Two, that they can accurately report phenotype data. That's a really important factor there. Three, they've shown that a segment of the population wants easy access and are willing to pay for health information. Finally, they've shown that they can deliver some engaging consumer experiences that can create conversations with consumers around their health before they ever get sick and over time. In essence, what they've built is a really novel way of delivering healthcare information and a really engaging consumer and patient experience. Quite frankly, having been a recipient of both of those products, I think it's much better experience than what we get from healthcare systems, from the experience perspective. I think the future of this space largely depends on who is willing to pay for this type of access, experience, and convenience. For sure, as we just mentioned, there is a segment of consumers that are willing to pay for that. But if companies can generate data to show good health outcomes, then potentially, there are some new stakeholders that would be willing to pay for solutions like this. These are employers, payers, and potentially, some health systems. An example in this area is the Renown Health System in Northern Nevada. They launched the Healthy Nevada project. What they did was they gave everybody in their health system the opportunity to get a free genetic test. They had 50,000 people sign up. That's pretty amazing from a recruitment perspective, and from an engagement perspective, and from a data perspective too.

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Stocks Mentioned

CRISPR Therapeutics Stock Quote
CRISPR Therapeutics
CRSP
$55.23 (1.25%) $0.68
Invitae Stock Quote
Invitae
NVTA
$3.50 (2.94%) $0.10
Fulgent Genetics, Inc. Stock Quote
Fulgent Genetics, Inc.
FLGT
$55.90 (2.78%) $1.51

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