Nordic Group: Nutrigenomics needs to be ‘done with integrity’

In 2013, the Denmark-headquartered healthcare group created its genetics testing arm DNA Life – a specialised unit for health, nutrition and fitness potential that works exclusively and directly with trained healthcare practitioners. In November last year, Nordic extended its genetics testing capabilities with the acquisition of two-year-old Danish startup AthGene for an undisclosed sum and integrated it into its portfolio alongside DNA Life.

Chris Moore, MD of Nordic Group, said the acquisition was“sensible and strategic”​ because of AthGene’s IT “technology engine” ​that enables results to be updated on an ongoing basis and display via an intuitive user interface or ‘dashboard’.

“It fitted into the portfolio of things we needed. It was exciting because of that technological development they’ve done. It will help our business transfer some of the old-school lab proposition into a much more modern, dynamic environment,” ​Moore told NutraIngredients.

Importantly, with this technology test results can be “continually enhanced”,​ he said, according to new science or testing capabilities.

Direct-to-consumer – ‘the fundamental mistake of the whole industry’

athgene 3d box-RGB

©Nordic Group

Within this technology, Moore said AthGene also brings a direct-to-consumer platform – something Nordic will maintain for now but will adjust in the near-term to involve intermediaries like dieticians, nutritionists or lifestyle coaches. The company has already, for example, added a 20-minute professional online consultation for every AthGene test purchase.

“AthGene burst onto the Danish scene as this revolutionary company that’s going to change the world and the way that everyone is going to view genetics. They got massive media attention, lots of enthusiasm, good investment and away they went. But they made, in my opinion, the fundamental mistake of believing the consumer knew what they wanted and that they would, in turn, naturally want to know their genetics to know who they are,”​ he said.

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