DNAFit was founded in 2013 by South African life sciences entrepreneur, Avi Lasarow – who has more than a decade of innovation within the DNA and forensic science industry – with the aim of reporting on genetic markers related to fitness and nutrition.
“Since we began in 2013, we’ve taken cutting edge science out of the laboratory and into the hands of tens of thousands of people, helping them understand how their DNA affects their response to exercise and nutrition changes, to change the way we train and eat, one DNA sample at a time,” said Lasarow.
DNAFit has generated more than R85 million since its launch and, while operating out of a head office in London, still retains a strong South African connection thanks to a core team of 25 based in Johannesburg.
As part of the new partnership with Helix, DNAFit will deliver their health and fitness products for the new Helix platform.
Led by CEO Robin Thurston and created on the back of more than $100 million of startup capital, the Helix platform is exclusively available within the US and offers DNA-powered products that offer insights on ancestry, entertainment, family, fitness, health and nutrition.
According to Lasarow, the new partnership is the latest step in DNAFit’s mission to help identify how people can exercise, eat right, and live better on a personal level.
“As a proud South African I am delighted that DNAFit has been chosen as one of the launch partners of Helix. There is no doubt that Helix is going to be a game-changer for the genetics industry, offering customers amazing insights into their lifestyle via this unique marketplace,” said Lasarow.
“Aligning ourselves with the Helix brand is an excellent fit as we believe that our technology should be available to as many people as possible, as easily as possible. The Helix platform fits perfectly with this mission, so we look forward to working with Helix in this exciting new relationship,” continued Lasarow.
With Helix, consumers will only need to have their DNA sequenced once to access the new DNAFit products. To get started, consumers visit the Helix marketplace to order one of the DNAFit products which includes a saliva collection kit. Once the saliva sample is mailed in, Helix reads their DNA, DNAFit translates the data into insights and delivers them to the consumer.
Existing Helix customers, who have previously been sequenced through Helix, can order DNAFit products without submitting another saliva sample. Helix.com is only available to US residents.
Last year Lasarow’s team completed the world’s first peer reviewed clinical study to focus on links between exercise and genetics. A peer-reviewed study on the DNAFit algorithm found that training according to an individual’s genetics gave almost three times the performance increase over unguided training.
“DNAFit is at the forefront of utilising genomics to inform fitness insights and we’re excited to team up with them to bring their innovative products to the Helix marketplace,” said Co-Founder and SVP of Helix, Justin Kao.
“By harnessing the power of our next-generation sequencing and proprietary Exome+ technology, DNAFit is able to continually update its products with the latest insights from DNA to provide every person a personalised and tailored approach to achieve their own fitness goals,” concluded Kao.
Helix partners with companies that are interested in or already developing DNA-powered products or services. Helix’s partners range from innovative app developers to emerging and established healthcare and genomic testing companies. Helix offers partners the ability to use DNA to enhance their products or services, and/or sell their DNA-powered products through the Helix marketplace.