Yuhan Corporation, a Seoul-based pharmaceutical company, said Tuesday that it had launched a genetic information analysis service that tracks down personal genetic risks for certain diseases and disorders.
In a joint venture with Theragen Etex, a local biotech firm specializing in genetic code analysis, Yuhan introduced “Hello Gene” that tests personal genetic information with just a few drops of blood, the company said. The service interprets one’s genetic information within a week or two and predicts what kind of diseases or disorders the person is vulnerable to. It will also design a new lifestyle tailored to the individual’s genetic and phenotypic information, the company added.
“We are experiencing a paradigm shift to (new) medical technology and service that offers ways to prevent diseases, long before they start treating them,” a Yuhan official told reporters in Seoul.
The genetic information technology will open the data-driven medicine of tomorrow that improves treatment effectiveness and minimizes the side effects of drugs, he added.
The Korean drug maker plans to expand R&D investment on developing personalized medicine such as new drugs tailored to one’s genetic information and technological devices that would offer more accurate diagnosis to patients.
Yuhan pinned higher hopes on the genetic information analysis market in the near future as the government rolled out plans to develop the country’s competitiveness in genomics last year.
In November, the Korean government said it would invest 579 billion won in genomics research over the next eight years to create and support related industries in the field.
Korea has been lagging behind other advanced economies in the study of genomics, a division of genetics research, officials said, adding that the technological gap between Korea and the U.S., the world’s biggest biotech country, is widening.
By Cho Chung-un (email@example.com