DNA mapping

india biz alphagenics

AlphaGenics takes people's cheek cells and analyzes the DNA to give them insight into their personality, physical appearance, habits and lifestyle.

Rather than looking for negative markers -- cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes -- AlphaGenics tests for factors that make people who they are.

"Your DNA profile could tell you that you're wired to crave sugar more than others," said founder Fedric Abramson. "If you knew that, you could understand and change your eating habits."

He describes the process as studying someone's genetic "assets" instead of "liabilities."

Abramson said the firm, which he founded 10 years ago, is also developing gene-based dietary supplements, such as vitamins that are matched to customers' DNA.

The company, based in Rockville, Md., charges $499 for a genetic analysis.

The appeal of entering India comes from the country's long history of Ayurvedic medicine -- which promotes the use of herbs and natural remedies -- and understanding the value of personalized medicine.

"I think our model would work well with the culture and traditions of India," he said. "If we find the right partner and we have a good team there in place by July 1, we could be in the market there by October 1."

First published May 22, 2014: 3:24 PM ET

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