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Los Alamos Has Viome!

on January 25, 2018 - 10:59am
From left, Viome’s Head of Project Management Miranda Intrator, President Deepak Savadatti, Chief Science Officer Momo Vuyisich and Research Associate Andy Hatch at the lab Monday afternoon at 81 Camino Entrada in Los Alamos. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
 
Viome employees gather with Chief Science Officer Momo Vuyisich, seated third from right, to celebrate the company’s first year anniversary Saturday evening at Cottonwood on the Greens at the Los Alamos Golf Course. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
 
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

How healthy are you, really?

Are you confused by the hundreds of Internet diets, each claiming to cure all kinds of symptoms? The bad news is that no one diet is good for everyone, because everyone is unique. The good news is that there is a company that can personalize your diet for improved health and wellness. The really good news is that the company based on LANL technology and its lab is right here in Los Alamos.

Viome, which stands for “Science of Life” (Vie in French means Life and Omics means Science), is a startup created with the help of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Housed in a 21,000 square-foot facility at 81 Camino Entrada, the biotech/artificial intelligence company analyzes your microbiome and metabolism to generate personalized dietary and nutritional recommendations.

Viome was founded with one simple premise: What if illness could be elective?

“We have come to realize that most of the genes in our body are microbial, not human,” said Viome’s Chief Science Officer Momo Vuyisich during an interview in his laboratory. “Our body is an ecosystem … our microbes play a major role in health and disease, so at LANL we developed technologies that enabled us to understand how these microbes affect health.”

Vuyisich worked at LANL for 13 years before partnering with Deepak Savadatti (President) and Naveen Jain (CEO) to launch the spinoff in October 2016. Shortly after launching, Viome’s executive team expanded with the addition of Helen Messier (Chief Medical Officer) and Guru Banavar (Chief Technology Officer).

“Viome is a team of world-class entrepreneurs, scientists and physicians. The company collaborated with LANL to evaluate, develop and successively commercialize the technology we use today,” Vuyisich said. “This technology has enabled Viome to be the only company that offers personalized diet and nutritional recommendations based on your biology.”

Viome’s artificial intelligence-driven recommendations serve to balance the gut microbiome—which can result in weight loss, increased energy, and improved overall wellness.

“What if the best we feel now is only the beginning of how great our health can be? We can now take control of our health and wellness in ways never before possible … together we can create a world where we make illness elective,” the Viome website says. “Even if you are thoughtful about your diet, chances are that you are not as healthy as you may believe. That’s because your body plays host to trillions of microorganisms completely unique to each person, and if they aren’t thriving, neither will you.”

Vuyisich explains that Viome’s pioneering artificial intelligence engines are designed to not only analyze a person’s data, but to aggregate all of its biological data inputs. As their sample size grows, Viome’s artificial intelligence platform spots trends, which lead to scientific breakthroughs.

Viome’s current service includes two kits: Metabolic Intelligence and Gut Intelligence. The Metabolic Intelligence test determines the unique way a person’s body processes food into energy. The Gut Intelligence test identifies the overall health and the biochemical activity of the trillions of microbes in one’s gut. Customers can order follow-up tests to track their progress over time.

“In addition to diet recommendations, we also make personalized supplement and probiotic recommendations, all of which are generated by our artificial intelligence platform,” Vuyisich said. “If you believe diet can improve your wellness and you don’t want to use pharmaceuticals, Viome makes it easy. Most people do not have the right information to choose the best diet for their bodies, so we take the guesswork out and provide personalized, science-based recommendations.”

Viome’s recommendations are delivered to customers through an iOS or web-based app (Android version will be released soon). Customers are encouraged to re-test throughout the year, so they can track their progress and make adjustments to their diet.

“What is really exciting is what we’ve accomplished in 15 months,” Vuyisich said. “We now have more than 60 employees in five cities. We’ve attracted highly trained talent right here in New Mexico and we’re still growing and hiring people. This is a rare tech-transfer success and is primarily due to the excellence of our team and outstanding support from the LANL team.”

Viome’s Los Alamos office is home to more than 25 employees.

“I’m thrilled that Viome has been able to create jobs in Los Alamos and contribute to the local economy,” Viome President Deepak Savadatti said. “We know there is plenty of scientific talent here, and we are already working on expanding our Los Alamos team even further as our business grows.”

Viome’s founders have their eyes set on a large prize: disrupting the healthcare industry.

“We have all the necessary pieces to successfully change the way healthcare is delivered,” Savadatti said. “And the biggest part of our success is passion … the Viome founders didn’t start the company for fame or money … We want to change the way the chronic diseases are addressed.”

Vuyisich described how chronic diseases can build up over decades before visible symptoms occur. A heart attack is not caused overnight; instead, it starts 20-40 years earlier with a diet that caused a physiological and immune system imbalance. The same is true for many other chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, obesity, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, etc.

Until now, chronic diseases aren’t addressed until symptoms show up – at which point patients are prescribed pharmaceuticals that often only treat their symptoms. Viome offers a look “under the hood” by providing each customer unprecedented molecular data about themselves and their gut microbiome, with the goal to prevent and reverse chronic diseases.

Pharmaceutical industry waits for a person to show chronic disease symptoms, then offers medicines that cover up the symptoms and cause other diseases. Viome aims to prevent and reverse chronic diseases at any stage. Courtesy/Viome

“Our mission is to give customers the clearest picture of their bodies and empower them to take control of their own health,” Vuyisich said. “Our future plans include increasing our customer base to serve millions of people and expand globally.”

Viome is hiring in Los Alamos and to apply, visit Viome.com/careers. To learn more about Viome, visit www.viome.com.

Viome services are currently available in the United States, Canada and the UK. Los Alamos Daily Post readers can obtain a $50 discount by going to http://viome.com/lahasviome. This offer is available until Feb. 28, 2018 and cannot be combined with any other discounts.

Note: Anyone interested and currently outside of the Viome service areas, can sign up on the International mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/cDzmOz. You will be notified when Viome becomes available in your country.

Viome Leadership Team

  • Chief Executive Officer Naveen Jain: An entrepreneur and philanthropist driven to solve the world’s biggest challenges through innovation.
  • President Deepak Savadatti: An established leader and innovator in the semiconductor industry for the past 23 years. He has varied background in engineering, operations, marketing, and sales. He was previously the VP & GM of Infineon Technologies.
  • Chief Science Officer Momo Vuyisich: More than 25 years of R&D experience in many scientific disciplines. He was most recently a scientist and leader of the Applied Genomics team at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he successfully managed large national and international collaborations.
  • Chief Medical Officer Helen Messier: At the forefront in using personalized “omics” analyses in clinical care. She has both a strong scientific and medical background and brings a passion for helping people realize their fullest potential.
  • Chief Technology Officer Guruduth Banavar: Leader in Artificial Intelligence and Distributed Systems technologies. He is proud to have led the creation of Watson AI technologies at IBM. He is now excited to apply these technologies to enhance your wellness!

Scientific Advisory Board

  • Alessio Fasano: W. Allan Walker Chair & Division Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), Harvard Medical School professor of Pediatrics, Director of Center for Celiac Research and Treatment.
  • Daniel Kraft: Physician-scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, innovator, and Chair of Medicine and Neuroscience at Singularity University.
  • Ray Kurzweil: Inventor, thinker, computer scientist, entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author and Google’s Chief Futurist.
  • Emeran Mayer: Physician-scientist, UCLA Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry. Executive Director of G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, and Co-director of CURE: Digestive Diseases
  • Gary Siuzdak: Professor and Director of the Center for Metabolomics at The Scripps Research Institute, guest faculty at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and past Vice President of American Society for Mass Spectrometry.

Viome Chief Science Officer Momo Vuyisich working Friday afternoon at his lab in Los Alamos. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Viome lab at 81 Camino Entrada in Los Alamos. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com


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