IRIS Wellness Labs offers one of the best approaches available today for understanding the intersection of genetics, lifestyle and environment in our lives and our health. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Iris Biotechnologies, a company pioneering the application of DNA sequencing, gene expression, proteomics and proprietary analytics to clinical medicine and the life sciences. IRIS dives much deeper than most competing companies, providing high quality, and clinically meaningful genomic information at affordable prices. We aggregate, analyze, and inform our clients, enabling physicians to recommend better-informed clinical choices for their patients.
IRIS Biotechnologies has earned six US patents and a portfolio of patents worldwide. In 2008 the company received Frost and Sullivan’s coveted North American Technology Innovation Award in Pharmacogenomics. We received a QTDP grant after NIH review and funding recommendation for our Nano-Biochip™ and BioWindows™ Medical Informatics System in 2010, and the IAIR Award for Best Company for Leadership in Personalized Medicine in 2014. In 2016, Japanese and European patent offices granted two key patents on our Artificial Intelligence System for Genetic Analysis.
WHAT IS PRECISION MEDICINE?
Personalized, precision medicine is like night and day compared to today’s conventional medicine. Precision medicine includes the whole gamut of conventional diagnosis and treatment, but is guided by the insights from deep genomic and other advanced analysis. It’s what actually goes on at the cellular level that determines health or disease. The cell is where internal (genetic) and external (diet, lifestyle, toxins, medications) factors all come together.
To see into this level, DNA sequencing is just the first step. There are presently several companies which offer genomic sequencing to the public, but by itself, sequencing has very limited value. For IRIS, it is just the starting point. We also need to know which parts of the DNA are turned on or off; which parts RNA is replicating; and what combinations of proteins are being produced by the cell. Finally, in order to understand how the cell is creating or responding to pathology or is responding to treatment, we need a sensitive and flexible method for analysis. This goes far beyond mere sequencing, and it is what IRIS does best.
Making the dream of precision medicine into reality requires many pieces coming together: accurate, affordable sequencing; big data management; education of clinicians, insurers and the public at large; and comprehensive, precise analytics to identify meaningful information from the ocean of genomic and other data such as the microbiome. It is our proprietary analytics and integration into a person’s whole history that turns sequencing into useful information. What distinguishes IRIS is that we look at the whole picture and dive as deep as necessary to optimize a patient’s health and wellness.
A REVOLUTION IN CANCER CARE
Diagnosis and treatment selection will no longer be guided by just how a tumor sample looks under the microscope, but by the actual genetic “fingerprint” of the tumor itself. This is a critical difference. Experience shows that microscopic appearance is often wrong, and often an unreliable guide to treatment. Liquid biopsy is emerging as the powerful new tool used for early detection and disease monitoring while immunotherapy improves treatment efficacy for certain types of cancer. When it comes to chemotherapy, poorly informed choices may lead to costly errors for patients and insurers alike. Efficacy is often lower than 5% while morbidity from treatment is often quite high. A patient may risk dying from the side effects of treatment – malnutrition and immune compromise – as much as from the cancer itself.
In the Precision Medicine approach, we compare the genetic makeup of a tumor with other tumors recorded in the constantly expanding databases, including information about their response to different types of treatment. Precision medicine takes out the guesswork, matching each individual patient with the most effective approach to treatment, reducing both side effects and cost of care. Accuracy will continue to improve over time, as our private, national and global databases become larger and more refined. Precision Medicine also lets us look into a person’s cellular machinery in real time, helping us correct the conditions that produce disease, and enhance those which support healing and recovery.
NEW HOPE FOR OVERWEIGHT PATIENTS
Obesity is endemic to the United States today, affecting nearly 40% of our adult population and 20% of our children. It carries an increased risk for breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. While millions of Americans try to lose weight and fail, the full story about losing weight is much more complex than counting calories and exercise. In addition to genetics and nutrition, sleep, stress, and the bacterial populations living in our digestive systems also influence weight. Research shows that our own gut bacteria have significant effects on our metabolism in health and illness. With precision medicine, we can put all the internal and external factors together and even evaluate a person’s microbiome.
A REVOLUTION IN MEDICINE
Armed with our sophisticated analytic technology, IRIS is helping people, both sick and well. We meet with patients and their physicians at Kaiser, UCSF, Sutter Health and other clinical settings. Since most physicians do not have time to become experts in genomic and other advanced analysis, IRIS approaches patients and physicians as a partner in discovery. We analyze and format information to be concise and understandable, while also referencing the latest scientific research. For those in need of specific medical treatment for cancer or certain other conditions, we are able to show currently available drugs as well as drugs in clinical trial targeting specific molecules and pathways.
AN INVITATION FROM IRIS
We are confident that our approach to genomic analysis and integration is the most comprehensive available today. At IRIS Wellness Labs, we tailor each person’s program for completeness and affordability. Whether a person is interested in maximum wellness, weight loss, or genomically enhanced medical diagnosis or treatment, IRIS is committed to providing the highest quality information available. At IRIS, your health and wellness is our number one priority.
IRIS represents an investment in yourself and your family, and in scientific knowledge that puts you on a path to superior health and longevity. We invite companies and organizations to consider individualized wellness programs. Healthy employees have lower absenteeism, increased job satisfaction and higher productivity. We are serving the unmet needs in a growing multi-billion-dollar market.
Written by Douglas Hendren, MD, MBA, Member of the Board of Directors