Superdrug has launched what it calls “the world’s most accurate” home DNA test, capable of reporting on over 500 genetic categories including disease risk, food sensitivity and behavioural traits.
Unlike other DNA testing kits available on the market, CircleDNA is the first and only retail test kit to use next generation sequencing (NGS) technology offering whole-exome sequencing, according to Superdrug.
This type of sequencing measures 31 million positions in DNA per person, in comparison to other tests that use “basic” genotyping, which analyse around 1000 – 600,000 positions per person.
By way of example, more than 90% of cancer mutations detected by CircleDNA would be missed by other tests, Superdrug said.
Michael Henry, the company’s healthcare director, said: “This test uses cutting edge technology, making it easy for people to receive more specific results and discover actionable insights into their genetic blueprint, from just one quick cheek swab.
“The test results offer information on cancer risk, diseases and brain health which can serve as vital advice to people, enabling them to make lifestyle changes that will improve their health outcomes.“
Home DNA kits are a rapidly growing industry, and are predicted to be a prominent health and wellbeing trend in 2020.
DNA analysis can help people determine their genetic tendency towards different health conditions and identify possible disease-causing mutations that increase the likelihood of developing a disease over their lifetime.
While the presence of a mutation does not mean that someone definitely has or will develop that disease, it is theorised that DNA kits can help people stay healthier for longer by providing them with information to help them tailor their lifestyle to suit their genetics.
Superdrug’s tests range from £199 for the “entry-level” kit, to £499 for the “premium” DNA test.
By comparison, 23andMe offers its home DNA analysis kits for £79 and £149, but doesn’t use NGS technology.
The entry-level CircleDNA test offers 125 reports across 14 categories such as diet, skin ancestry, sleep and stress. The premium kit, meanwhile, covers 500 genetic reports across 20 categories, including nutrition, response to medicines, physical traits, personality traits, behavioural traits, response to pollution, family planning, wellbeing and ancestry.
Test results are delivered via the CircleDNA app in 18 days and offer an “in-depth analysis” of what each report means.
All 500 reports are accompanied by a sliding scale showing the scientific accuracy behind each finding.
Additionally, everyone who takes the test is offered a phone call with CircleDNA’s counsellors, who are genetic professionals and can talk users through their results.
Avi Lasarow, international CEO of CircleDNA parent company, Prenetics, said: “The UK is already leading the way of genetic research with the 100 Genome Project success, and now the technology the NHS is using for Precision Health initiatives can now be accessed easily on the high street with this exciting partnership.”
“For the first time, high street shoppers now have access to their DNA information, which in turn can empower them to personalise, tailor and curate their lifestyle to best suit their genetics. This huge increase in knowledge can only be seen as a good thing when it comes to the health of the UK.”