We are so excited to welcome 3X4 Genetics to Rupa Health! We had a great conversation with Dr. Yael Joffe, Ph.D., RD, FACN, co-founder and Chief Science Officer at 3X4 Genetics, to learn more about the company and the tests they offer.
Introducing 3X4 Genetics!
Hi, Dr. Joffe! It is great to chat with you today. What led you to start 3X4 Genetics?
I founded 3X4 Genetics in 2018 after a career of over two decades building genomic solutions for visionary practitioners. As a student, I lost my grandmother to cancer, and then shortly after that, I lost all my faith in the conventional healthcare system. I tried to turn my helplessness into action. But I struggled to see a way forward in the Medical and Dietetics worlds, which centered around managing and masking disease rather than generating and accelerating health. In search of a better, more personal way for healthcare to be delivered, I discovered the power of genetics. I started 3X4 Genetics to bring personalized, DNA-driven health recommendations to everyone everywhere.
The company started in Cape Town, South Africa, where a large portion of the staff still operates. We opened an office in Seattle at the start of 2020. As of the end of 2021, our CEO (Michael Hubbard) and Founder (Dr. Yael Joffe) are based in Seattle, along with all of our staff required to service the US.
Wow! What an incredible story. We see so many people in this community who lost hope because of or became frustrated with conventional medicine. I love that you were able to use your experience to create something great!
Can you tell me a little bit about why testing your genes is so important?
Genes make up the baseline “code” by which your body functions. Everything we do in our lives links in some way to what we have inherited; every single choice you make throughout your life is influenced by your personal genetic makeup. Today, and even more so in the future, genetics will enable and empower us to make the best possible decisions for ourselves and our bodies every minute of every day, throughout our lives. Our genes are our own personal North Star, guiding us through the different stages, phases, peaks, and troughs of our journey.
Amazing! I would love to know more about the test that you offer. How does it work? What can it tell me about my genes?
Our DNA test kit is a simple and pain-free cheek swab that you can complete at home. A thorough rub with a cotton swab on the inside of each cheek for 60 seconds is all it takes. No spitting or blood draw is required.
We use information about genetic variations to generate a personalized report. The test currently includes information about two specific kinds of genetic variations, namely single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and copy number variants (CNVs). We test for these variants using microarray technology.
Microarrays are bidimensional molecular receptor arrays that simultaneously detect a large number of gene variants. We create these arrays by placing thousands of gene sequences in known locations on a glass slide called a gene chip. We then place a sample containing DNA in contact with the gene chip. Complementary base pairing between the sample and the gene sequences on the chip produces fluorescence. Areas on the chip producing fluorescence identify gene variants that are present in the sample.
Microarray technology was selected as the method for genotyping because it is a cost-effective method to detect a large number of genetic variants. It is therefore scalable for future product development.
3X4 Genetics, in collaboration with Thermo Fischer Scientific, has designed a custom microarray. The Thermo Fischer Scientific Axiom Precision Medicine Diversity Research Array (PDMA) was used as the backbone of the array, and genetic variants with nutrigenomic significance were added. Multiple probe designs and replicates were included in the custom array to ensure optimal performance of the gene variants that are of interest to current and future 3x4 Genetics products.
Our test analyzes over 134 genes that may impact your metabolism, inflammation, detoxification, fitness, body weight, hormones, cognition, response to diet and supplements, and more. By understanding how your unique genes impact these key processes, you can make smarter, more personalized decisions about your health.
Incredible! I definitely want to get this test now to see what kind of genetic variations I have.
Speaking of ordering tests, what kinds of practitioners order your tests? What are they looking to diagnose or understand?
Mainly, functional healthcare practitioners are ordering from us. But, any registered healthcare practitioner that would like to incorporate genetics testing into their practice can order from 3X4.
Practitioners are using our test to diagnose and understand a variety of different conditions. Anything from overall health to chronic pain and autoimmune diseases to food intolerances and sensitivities and gut health, the list goes on and on.
Fantastic! It sounds like everyone can really benefit from this test.
With that in mind, is there anything new and exciting that you are working on now?
We are building a digital, interactive version of our Blueprint. This product will enable practitioners and patients to have an interactive user experience as they navigate through their gene results, pathways, and health categories. It will enable easy customization of recommendations for practitioners, helping them give up-to-date, personalized recommendations for their patients. We are designing it to save the practitioner preparation time.
Wonderful! I look forward to seeing this new Blueprint report when it is ready!
To close out, is there anything else you would like to share about 3X4 Genetics?
3X4 Genetics is a digital health company pioneering the application of genomics to improve human health and performance. We’re transforming people’s lives by giving them data-driven, DNA-based recommendations for fitness, food, supplements, sleep, stress management, and more. Our mission is to help everyone everywhere personalize every health decision they make.
Amazing! We really appreciate you taking the time to speak with us and we look forward to growing our partnership with 3X4 Genetics.