In this episode, we talk to Levana Sani, co-founder and CEO of Nalagenetics, a meditech company based in Indonesia and Singapore that focuses on genetic testing for drug responses, but has now partially shifted focus to helping set up labs for COVID-19 testing. We dive into the basics of genetic testing, in particular human genotyping, which is what Nalagenetics as a company does in order to help doctors develop personalized medicine for their patients, tailored to their specific genetic profile. We talk to Levi about how her company has pivoted from genetic testing to COVID-19 testing, in particular qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) testing and comparing this particular method to the more widely known rapid testing method, which has had its critics.
We also discuss how Nalagenetics have helped private companies — specifically huge corporations that employ thousands of people — test their workforce and keep their community safe, which goes into the conversation about private and public sector responses to COVID-19 and the democratization of testing. We discuss the ethics behind testing when there are limited test kits and how we can ensure the accessibility of testing to those who really need it.
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