“We believe genomics should be available to everybody”

In an exclusive interaction with the BioVoice, Dr Axel Schumacher, CEO and co-founder of blockchain-enabled genomic data-hub startup Shivom, shared insights on his company's operations and India plans. Dr Schumacher who has over 20 years’ experience in the field of genetics, is highly excited on the future of genetics globally. Read on:

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Germany based startup, Shivom with Indian origin co founders, is powering the next era of genomics through blockchain technology, protecting identity, personalizing healthcare and transforming lives. The company’s CEO and co-founder, Dr Axel Schumacher who has big plans for India, in an exclusive interaction with the BioVoice, shared insights with the BioVoice. Dr Schumacher who has over 20 years’ experience in the field of genetics, is highly excited on the future of genetics globally. Read on: 

How did Shivom originate?

We came together based on a shared vision – the core team was formed after meeting at a handful of blockchain and genomic conferences. We felt there was a pressing need to solve the problems facing the communities researching genomics and consumers. We strongly hold the belief that genomics should be available to everyone. We want to see a future where donors can be rewarded for securely storing their medical data, without needing to worry about its integrity being compromised or accessed by malicious actors. It was the desire to bring to fruition such an ecosystem that resulted in the culmination of the Shivom project. We now have a team of 30 operating globally, with headquarters in Munich and operating extensively in India.

What is it that the company offer? How do you differentiate yourselves from the competition?

The company provide a storage and analytics platform for genetic information, with further peripheral services comprising of data monetisation, genetic testing, and healthcare information. The platform itself is enhanced by partnerships with healthcare services, which can be ‘docked’ on the main blockchain.

Shivom’s sets itself aside from the competition in its comprehensive service offering: a secure and private blockchain solution, global reach, and a unique classification system for genomic ID, preventing duplication of data which in turn improves analytics. It further integrates AI protocols to this end, so as to return deep data insights.

Does the company have any plans to enter the Indian market? What opportunities do you see in the country?

We are in talks with the Indian government to jointly sequence their 60 million-plus population. This is a huge opportunity for us to gain unprecedented access to a colossal data set. We’ve further held discussions with multiple Indian healthcare facilities, in hopes of penetrating the market and sequencing the data they’ve collected.

How does Shivom hope to generate revenue? What are the expectations for the next two to three years?

Revenue will be driven by pharmaceutical companies wishing to use data to support their drug development programs. In addition to this, consumers who want insights into their uploaded DNA sequences will have the option to purchase various health-oriented apps for a minimal fee, or the Shivom sequencing kits that will also be available for order on the platform – all using the OmniX token as currency.

We expect revenue to be modest in the early stages, as we amass data sets, flowing in primarily from the sales of the aforementioned applications and kits. As we accumulate data, and integrate advanced analytical methods, we expect a substantial amount of revenue to be generated through sales to pharma.

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