New Phenotyping Tests Slay Obesity Myths

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A new set of objective and simple phenotyping tests that categorize patients by four distinct subtypes of obesity is set to disrupt obesity care, by enabling the tailoring of therapy to a patient's syndrome to create care that is more successful and cost-effective. MedTech Strategist interviews the Mayo Clinic’s Andres Acosta, a co-founder of Phenomix Sciences, which is commercializing the tests.

The clamor around the successful use of GLP-1 drugs for weight loss—Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide (Ozempic, for patients with type 2 diabetes and Wegovy, for adults with obesity)—might obscure the fact that the most impactful innovation in the obesity space right now is a diagnostic, and not a therapeutic.

As of April 2024, Phenomix Sciences has launched three out of four phenotyping tests in its MyPhenome platform, which has been developed to help clinicians determine their patient’s particular obesity syndrome, so they can deliver targeted treatments across any class of obesity therapy, be it drug, diet, endoscopic device, or surgery. (See “Phenomix Sciences: How Do You Handle a Hungry Brain?” MedTech Strategist, June 13, 2023.) These are simple, saliva-based tests that require a cheek swab; they’re as easy to administer as a consumer ancestry test, but they deliver all the biomarkers necessary to type a patient’s obesity.


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