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Hong Kong’s GemVCare introduces diabetes risk profiling

Hong Kong biomedical start-up GemVCare has introduced new genetic tests for detecting the risk of diabetes in individuals.

GemVCare, which is a company of Incu-Bio Programme of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP), launched predictive genetic tests based on the results of clinical studies conducted in Asian diabetes patients in the last 20 years.

The firms’ team started the research at the Chinese Unversity of Hong Kong, which focused on finding the link between Asians and diabetes.

They carried out clinical studies and developed databases that point to a panel of Chinese/Asian-relevant genetic markers, which can be used to predict and prevent diabetes.

GemVCare said the new accessible predictive genetic tests are expected to benefit around two to three million people in Hong Kong alone.

GemVCar chairman Dr Juliana Chan said: "It's not uncommon to see diabetes leading to heart disease, kidney disease and eye problems. I have seen a young patient in her 20s losing her sight because of diabetes.”

Dr. Chan created The Hong Kong Diabetes Registry with the medical team of the Prince of Wales Hospital.

The team recruited 20,000 Asians for the study to identify the causes and effects of diabetes and related complications.

They discovered panel of genetic markers which interact with lifestyle and other modifiable risk factors to predict diabetes and its complications.

The genetic test services, which have patents in China and US, were commercialized with the support Innovation and Technology Commission and The Office of Research and Knowledge Transfer Services at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.