Genoscience co-founder Jean Gekas, and genetic counselor Claire Bascunana, on the VatorNews podcast

Steven Loeb · May 2, 2024 · Short URL:

Genocience is a group of private clinics offering genetic screening and fertility services

On the VatorNews podcast, Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco talk to Dr Jean Gekas, Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder at Genoscience, and Claire Bascunana, certified genetic counselor at Genolife. Genocience is a group of private clinics offering genetic screening and patient support services for fertility, creating a package of testing around pregnancy and follow-up services.

Highlights from the call:

  • Jean Gekas' journey:  "I've been seeing patients for more than 20 years in the public system, and pensioners are looking to get pregnant and to have good medical service and to have a pleasant experience. But in the public health system in Canada, there is not a unique place where all the services can be found, with all the expertise concentrated into one place with all the certified professionals ready to do see patients. It's why we created Genoscience with its three branches: Genolife, Prenato Clinics, and GenoLab."
  • Why fertility: “When you're in medicine, you get in contact with different types of clientele but women's health, pregnancy, pregnant women, are so amazing. Women are happy to get pregnant, these are couples looking to have a new child. So, during this period of life, there's so much happiness and so I really enjoy being with them a lot."
  • Clinic operations: “We have our own eight clinics in Montreal, with one in Quebec City, and if you consider all of our partner clinics, we have 34 points of services across the province. For the moment, we have not expanded because we wanted to test our model, and also our growth, in Quebec City and in Montreal. Now our goal is to expand to every province: we just created our first point of service in Calgary in the last three weeks and we will also get our first point of service in New Brunswick very soon.”
  • Fastest-growing division: Genolife -- 20% of infertility is caused by genetics. Patient going to Genolife seek understanding of infertility issues but also of genetic conditions that may be passed down to progeny. “Genolife is offering counseling and sometimes coordinating genetic testing for patients, especially those in preconception, where a lot of patients are seeking advice before getting pregnant. They want to know if their babies will be affected with genetic conditions. Some patients already know about their genetic risk, while some people don't know any significant familial, personal, or obstetrical history but they're still worried about the risk of transmission of genetic risk. We know that we are all carriers of five to six silent genetic variants in our DNA, which are inherited from generation to generation; sometimes, unfortunately, if two partners are carriers of the same genetic condition, they are at risk of having a baby affected by that genetic condition. So, we are also seeing people in preconception, or people already involved in fertility clinics, that just want to reduce the risk of having affected kids."
  • In-person clinics most active division today - “Prenato clinics can offer pregnant women a large number of services and, right now, this is the most active branch. We do the follow-up for more than more than 10,000 pregnancies a year in the province of Quebec, while the total number of pregnancies in the province is around 55,000, so we see more than 10% of the pregnancies."
  • Genolife payments - “Currently Genolife is private pay. Infertility is not covered through governmental reimbursement; there are also genetic services in the public system but the reason why Genolife exists is because of the waiting time, especially in preconception. I've been discussing with patients this week, and they were telling me that they're coming to see me because they have a family history of a genetic condition, they want to have kids, but the public system is making them wait two years to see them, even just to assess the risk of inheritance. That's the reason why they prefer to pay and see us very quickly; we have a waiting time of one week, or two maximum, to be seen."

Note: Join us for our conversation: The Future of Fertility, May 22 from 4pm PT-6 pm PT online. Panelists: Bambi Francisco Roizen (Founder and CEO, Vator); Dr. Archana Dubey (Chief Medical Officer, United Healthcare); Dr. Jean Gekas (CEO, Genoscience); La Keisha Landrum Pierre (Partner, Emmeline Ventures); Dr. Tammy Mahaney (Suncoast Ventures)


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