Eugene is awarded the Australian government’s Boosting Female Founders grant

We’re thrilled to announce that Eugene has been awarded the Boosting Female Founders grant. We were selected from over 2,200 companies to receive funding to bring to market a genetic test to understand your risk of heart disease and make proactive health choices.

Heart disease is one of Australia’s largest health problems. The human toll is striking — cardiovascular disease kills one Australian every 12 minutes. Its also one of the biggest burdens on our economy and health system.

Genomic technologies have advanced dramatically in the past decade and there is incredible potential to use these technologies not only to support diagnosis of rare diseases but also to support the Australian and international community in making proactive healthcare decisions.

This sounds fantastic, but there are significant challenges in developing widespread access to proactive genetic testing. Even though the cost of testing is falling, the critical clinical staff who ensure that these complex tests and results are accessible and usable by our communities are in incredibly short supply. There are only 220 practicing genetic counsellors in Australia compared to over 70,000 referring health practitioners. This results in long wait times at clinics, expensive consults in the private system, geographical and cultural barriers to access, and misinformation about what these tests can and cannot do.

At Eugene, our cross functional team of clinicians, technologists, designers and entrepreneurs are driven by a purpose to bridge the gap between technology, healthcare providers and consumers to promote better health. We’ve pioneered a unique tech-enabled healthcare delivery model in medical genetics by democratising access to clinical grade genetic testing and telehealth genetic counselling. Simply put, we’re making it easy for all people to make informed choices about their health.

Since launching carrier screening in February 2019, we’ve worked tirelessly to enable access to genetic testing and care at scale, deliver it in a safe and supported environment, and provide results that are actionable in a healthcare setting. This is an evolutionary model of care which empowers patients and clinicians alike, provides continuity of care, improves proactive healthcare outcomes and reduces the burden on the health system.

We are now aiming to branch out of reproductive genetics and launch a new product to help people know their risk of inherited heart disease. More than two-thirds of Australian adults have three or more risk factors for heart disease. Yet many people don’t know they’re at risk. When over 14% of Australia’s total burden of disease is attributed to Cardiovascular disease, better access to preventative measures can play an important role in long-term health for individuals and help address this national health concern.

The Boosting Female Founder Initiative grant will provide incredible support for Eugene to make this test and the knowledge it provides accessible to our communities here in Australia. With heart disease responsible for one in four of all deaths, we hope to improve risk awareness, and promote better health for all Australians. 💙

Written by
Kunal Kalro

Founder and CEO at Eugene.

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