Want to know how efficiently your body uses its glucose or how much oxygen your body can consume during an exhaustive go on the rowing machine? A Boulder, Colorado-based company called Sciona is betting that you do, and so are its investors. On the heels of two smaller rounds this year, the company is closing in on another $6 million, an amount that will bring total funding for the 8-year-old company to $30 million. (I spied the development in a new regulatory filing.)
So how does Sciona work its magic? Genetic testing, of course. For $300 dollars, it sends you a swab kit and asks you to complete a detailed fitness and lifestyle questionnaire, after which it provides a personalized “DNA Fitness Action Plan” that ostensibly makes recommendations based on how well your body builds muscles, uses nutrients, and recovers from exercise, among other things. Sciona also has a nutrition program, if that’s of greater interest to you. (The cost of figuring out how you can optimize your nutritional intake is also $300.)
The company’s site looks like it was modeled on a 1980s Bally Total Fitness ad. (If I were one of its investors, I’d insist on a redesign pronto.) But I think the growing field of “neutrogenics,” as some, including Sciona, call it, makes sense. While most educated people today have a good understanding of what’s required to stay healthy — lay off the tequila shots, don’t smoke, exercise — tests like what Sciona’s propose can help concentrate them on those things that are most important to tackle, like the need, say, to cut back on corn oils.
Sciona’s investors, by the way, include Burrill & Co., BioVentures Investors, DSM Ventures, and BASF Venture Capital.