The entire human genome includes over 20,000 genes. These hereditary factors determine the way in which the body reacts to substances such as medicines. However, the information hidden in the genome has finally left the lab and been made available to doctors. Turku company Abomics is behind this innovative service which supports medical decision-making.
GeneRx uses genomic information to reveal the individual effects of medicines
Abomics Oy's solutions focus on the availability and management of genomic information and its adaptation for everyday use. Abomics' services include applications that support clinical decision-making when used in tandem with patient data systems, and various online solutions. Of these, the key solution is the GeneRx pharmacogenomic database, which supports day-to-day clinical decisions.
"In the past, medicine has been dispensed on the basis of giving each patient the same medicine in accordance with the Finnish 'Bible' on the subject, Pharmaca Fennica. GeneRx enables the use of targeted medicine dispensed on the basis of the patient's genetic characteristics. When writing a prescription, the doctor can use our database to check whether any genetic variations have a bearing on the use of the medicine. If such a variation is found, the system will recommend the available genetic tests and their providers," explains Jari Forsström, CEO of Abomics and a specialist in Internal Medicine. He adds that physicians can use the service through the familiar Duodecim Terveysportti health portal, for example.
A database and network based on collaboration with Tekes
Forsström confirms that Tekes was a major partner in the creation of the database. He explains that Tekes funding played a decisive role in ensuring the cost-effectiveness of the product development phase.
"Information gathering, production and, ultimately, the productisation of the service, were all executed based on funding from Tekes. Although the main database is already up and running, the work is never actually finished since the database has to be continuously maintained," he reminds us.
Forsström is particularly grateful for the networking events arranged as part of the BioIT programme, which increased the company's knowledge of the sector and its players.
"In addition to funding, the excellent networking events provided under the BioIT programme have been hugely beneficial for us. The Tekes project has not just been about bringing in money – it's also been about gaining contacts and raising our profile," Forsström summarises.
In the future, our own genomic data will follow us around Finland
Abomics hopes to expand the GeneRx database into the Gene Account concept. This service will function as a platform on which the patient can save gene test results for use by healthcare staff. The company envisages having Gene Account synchronised as part of patient information systems. This will make patients' information available to clinics all over Finland. The international potential of the solution has also been recognised.
"We are in the process of analysing the export prospects in Scandinavia. Based on Gene Account, we are participating in a major European research project involving actors from 17 EU countries," Forsström points out.
Jari Forsström, CEO
jari.forsstrom (at) abomics.fi
Text: SST Viestintä