This Startup Joins the Ministry of Health in Collecting DNA Samples of All RI Citizens Tech – 8 hours ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The Biomedical and Genome Science Initiatives (BGSi) program initiated by the Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin will be supported by Nalagenetics and East Ventures. The plan is to collect genetic samples from all over Indonesia so that disease treatment in Indonesia can be more accurate.

East Ventures and Nalagenetics announced a collaboration with the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia. East Ventures will provide reagents and consumables worth more than IDR 1 billion, while Nalagenetics will provide human resource support to BGSi.

East Ventures Founding Partner Willson Weather explained that the Ministry of Health has the ambition to take 10,000 samples to build a genomic database of the Indonesian population.

“So we provide some kind of support because they have the machines but there are no people who can operate them and the equipment is very expensive,” he said when met in Jakarta.

Nalagenetics will collaborate with BGSi by transferring knowledge and expertise in sequencing.

This collaboration is expected to create new product innovations based on local genetic data to exploit the potential of Indonesian population genomic data.

“If genomics can be mapped in Indonesia, in the future if there is a new disease we can target more precisely from the database,” he explained

He explained that a blood sample would be taken and then sequenced to separate the DNA. From the sequencing process, a kind of dictionary will be created based on the DNA of Indonesian people.

“Because so far this dictionary has existed but it is based on western countries. Meanwhile, the DNA of western and eastern people is different. That’s why whichever country has this, they can be more precise in carrying out preventive measures,” said Willson.

Health sector unicorns

Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin previously revealed the potential for the birth of unicorns from Indonesian startup companies in the health sector. He said that in the health industry there are two sectors that hold great potential, namely medicine and health services.

The country’s health industry can have many startups or start-ups that can quickly become unicorns. According to him, the condition for a startup to turn into a unicorn is to grow in a rapidly developing industrial sector, one of which is health.

Minister of Health Budi Gunadi Sadikin at the Collaboration For Innovation Tech Conference at Sopo del Tower, Jakarta, Tuesday (22/8/2023). (CNBC Indonesia/Tri Susilo)

“This industry (health) is high in the investment hierarchy. The upsize potential is large compared to other countries,” said Budi Gunadi at the CNBC Indonesia Tech Conference 2023, Tuesday (22/8/2023).

He explained that the average life expectancy in Indonesia is up to 72 years, and to reach that age there is a health ‘spending’ that is incurred. Startups can also use this to support people’s lives, to achieve this life expectancy.

Apart from that, reforms in the health sector will also provide major developments in biotechnology and health technology.

“There are many startups in travel, logistics, in healthcare too. Telemedicine too, then there is AI diagnostics. Then also healthcare biotech because the health industry is becoming more precise,” he said.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]