In Conversation With Neeraj Gupta

Neeraj Gupta is the Founder and CEO of Genes2Me Pvt. Ltd.

1. Please briefly describe Genes2Me

Genes2Me has been one of the leading players in Molecular Diagnostics and Genomics having NABL, ISO9001, ISO14001 accredited State-of-Art testing lab based at Gurgaon, Haryana. The lab is equipped with Advanced Genetic Testing Platforms including Next Generation Sequencing System, Sanger Sequencer, Microarrays, Mass Arrays, etc. Also, numerous Real Time PCR Instruments and Automated RNA Extraction Instruments have been recently included in the range of Platforms for performing COVID-19 and other infectious diseases testing.

As the Company has its roots into Genomics Research and Diagnostics, we have always focused on developing innovative and unique solutions which can revolutionize Diagnostics for Billions. Looking at the growing demand of High Quality Indian products globally, Genes2Me have significantly changed its gears to Manufacturing of IVD Kits and Instrument under the visionary mission of “Make in India” from our Honorary Prime Minister. During the COVID pandemic, Genes2Me is proud to contribute kits for >60M tests for COVID-19 till now where Genes2Me have been able to develop path-breaking solutions which have helped Govt. and Private Diagnostic Infrastructures to deliver faster testing results in Cost effective manner.

2. What are the challenges of genetic testing?

Main challenges associated with genetic testing involve the emotional, social, or financial consequences of the test results. People may feel angry, depressed, anxious, or guilty about their results.

In some cases, genetic testing creates tension within a family because the results can reveal information about other family members in addition to the person who is tested. The possibility of genetic discrimination in employment or insurance is also a concern.

3. What does the future hold for genetic testing?

The advent of genetic tests has had a tremendous effect on clinical diagnosis. Diseases, which were difficult to diagnose earlier, are now aided by genetic screening tests. The last few decades have witnessed an immense growth in knowledge, bringing genetics from obscurity to a for-front position in healthcare. The genetic screening approach has been increasingly used to aid new developments in medicine that hold great promise for human health. This approach utilises the knowledge of an individual’s genetic makeup to identify any potentially increased risk of developing certain diseases and to intervene at an early stage to prevent them.

More importantly, the implications of the results must be explained to the patient and relatives in a professional manner, since most of the times, the results have an immense emotional impact on families. The education and counselling accompanying genetic testing is provided by genetic counsellors in all developed countries as this is essential for the decision-making process regarding testing and dealing with test outcomes.

4. Gathering a family health history is a big part of genetic testing. Can you talk about what that process is like and some of the challenges a person might experience?

A family health history is a record of health information about a person and his or her close relatives. A complete record includes information from three generations of relatives, including children, brothers and sisters, parents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, grandparents, and cousins.

Families have similar genetic backgrounds, and often similar environments and lifestyles. Together, these factors can give clues to conditions that may run in a family. By noticing patterns of disorders among relatives, healthcare professionals can determine whether an individual, family members, or future generations may be at an increased risk of developing a particular condition.

Main Challenges during gathering of family history:

● Patient may need to contact relatives he/she don’t know very well or who are out of touch with or even estranged from them or their family.

● Some family members may be guarded or even feel angry about having to answer very personal questions.

● Not everyone agrees that it makes sense to find out whether you have a high risk of developing any genetic disorder. Some relatives simply would prefer not to know.

5. Could you tell us more about Genes2Me's Personalised Genetic Testing Solution?

Currently, there are numerous companies which are providing Preventive Health Check-up packages. However, they can only give sign of health problem when it has already hit the individual and cannot tell for the risk of disease which is going to affect the individual in future. Testing for genetic predisposition exhibits the chances that you may develop a certain disease based on your genetic makeup. Your genetic susceptibilities can be identified via your family history and/or genetic alterations. Our unique Personalised genetic testing range is also revolutionary for preventive healthcare segment in wellness. Genes2Me Range of Personalised Genetic Tests for common health conditions analyse genes and deliver risk for different diseases associated with them. It offers predictive testing for conditions like-diabetes, hypertension, cancer, neurological conditions and more.

6. What Is Genetic Counselling?

Genetic counselling is the process by which patients, families and clinicians are informed about the inheritance pattern, genetic and genomic basis of traits and clinical disorders.

It covers four main aspects:

● Risk calculation and estimation

● Diagnostics

● Management and preventive measures.

● Support

7. Areas Where Genetic Analysis/ Counselling Are Useful Are:

● Any Familial Disorder

● Cancer genetics

● Infertility, Artificial Reproduction Techniques and pre-implantation genetics

● Neurogenetics and psychiatric genetics

● Common adult disorders (e.g., cardiac diseases, diabetes, BP, asthma, etc)

● Genetics in the primary care setting – birth defects and mental retardation

● Research in infectious diseases – TB, HPV, etc

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