The Different Sides of Precision Medicine with Jo Bhakdi, CEO and Co-Founder of Quantgene
We host Jo Bhakdi, the co-founder and CEO of Quantgene, a molecular diagnostics company, offering a uniquely patient-centric approach to the field of precision medicine, with a focus on the prevention of cancer. Quantgene aims to evolve precision medicine by unlocking what it refers to as the Deep Human Genome. The company launched its first product, Serenity, earlier this year. Serenity is a subscription-based, direct-to-consumer genomics service built to understand hereditary disease predisposition, to detect disease earlier, and to empower individuals with direct access to medical experts. With Serenity, Quantgene’s goal is to extend the healthy lifespan of its members by ten years before the end of the decade.
With Jo Bhakdi we discuss the company, their techniques for early cancer detection through liquid biopsy, as well as their economic model and philosophy for bringing their service to market. We also cover common stumbling blocks on the path to innovation. Jo emphasizes the importance of economic considerations and underlines how the neglect of insurance and investment can ultimately sink the most scientifically sound and technically innovative companies. We talk about the company’s background, the process of building a team, and the areas they have prioritized in order to ensure a sustainable and groundbreaking unit. Finally, we get into some of Quantgene’s long-term goals and the field of precision medicine. Jo gives us an understanding of which fields of precision medicine are best set up for innovation. Make sure to join us for this insightful chat with Jo Bhakdi!
“If you’re weak on the tech layers, you just can’t build advanced medical technologies. You can’t deliver the clinical value if you don’t have that hard technology layer figured out, where you can do truly new things.”
Key Points From This Episode:
- Jo’s family history in the life sciences and his winding path before Quantgene.
- Understanding the science that underpins the company’s work in fighting cancer.
- Quantgene’s commercial strategy and its holistic and ‘bespoke’ approach.
- The future of precision medicine and different layers of safety and protection.
- The privacy concerns that arise in the precision medicine space.
- The question of clinical data in these emerging fields of study and treatment.
- Contrasting concerns over evidence;
- How patient interests differ from investor requirements.
- Biases that accompany different interests and how this translates to neglected areas.
- The long-term objectives for Quantgene — extending human life expectancy.
- Jo’s thoughts on the areas of precision medicine that are most ready for innovation.
- The vital component of insurance — tech cannot solve all problems!
- The COVID-19 pandemic and the part that Quantgene has played in test rollouts.