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GeneLink Enlists Orchid to Screen SNPs for Personalized Skincare and Nutraceuticals

NEW YORK, Nov. 15 — The age of personalized moisturizers is upon us.


GeneLink and Orchid BioSciences have partnered to apply high-throughput SNP genotyping to GeneLink's newly created genomics-based personalized nutritional and skin-care service, the company said on Thursday.


The arrangement, which treads uncharted territory for Margate, NJ-based GeneLink, seeks to use genotyping techniques to develop and market nutritional and skincare products.


This fall, GeneLink, a specialist in consumer DNA banking services, inked agreements with cosmetics powerhouse Arch Personal Care Products and with the nutritional and botanical product manufacturer Garden State Nutritionals to provide data to help them market products specifically targeted to individual customers' genetic profiles.


Through this arrangement, customers are asked to supply buccal swabs using GeneLink's DNA collection technology that Orchid BioSciences will analyze to generate a unique profile of relevant SNPs that can recommend specific vitamin, dietary supplements, or cosmetic products.


Further financial details were not disclosed.


GeneLink has developed a proprietary test that identifies SNPs in genes related to the body's response to oxidative stress, it said. The company explained that this genetic profile, among others, can help guide recommendations for appropriate vitamin therapy.


Certain oxidative stress SNPs, for example, are associated with enzymes linked to skin wrinkling, said company CEO John DePhillipo, suggesting a regimen of antioxidant skin creams.


"Our little biosciences company has moved into genotyping for nutrition and skincare products," says DePhillipo. "We don't make the products, but we're partnering with large companies that do. They are offering their customers a system: we'd measure the customer, and their marketers would sell the product."


GeneLink has also filed patents for SNP-based tests for susceptibility to low bone density, obesity, and accelerated connective tissue breakdown associated with skin aging. 


DePhillipo said that GeneLink plans to launch these services in the first quarter of next year.


The nutritional industry is looking to biotechnology for leadership, he added. "We can bring rational decisions and a rational dosing methodology. We think we can do an awful lot of good here."

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