Life Sciences Company Aiming to Increase Accuracy of DNA Sequencing Based Typing [Interview][Transcript]

Guest: David Sayer
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Chief Executive Officer David Sayer together with Head of Software Development Dr Damian Goodridge founded Conexio-Genomics nearly ten years ago after working in clinical laboratory where they were responsible for introducing DNA sequencing as a routine clinical technique. They left the hospital to continue development in the commercial environment. They now employ 13 staff and the company has matured into a world leading, innovative company with ISO certification and CE IVD status for its products.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, learn more about genetic sequencing and mutation detection thru Conexio-Genomics CEO and co-founder Dr. David Sayer as he talks about their company’s history as well as their wide range of novel genetic sequencing and mutation detection products and services. After nearly ten years in the business, they have now established themselves as a world leader with over 200 laboratories using its technology. Their technology continue to set the benchmark for HLA sequencing based typing.


Health Professional Radio

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Buckler and my guest today is David Sayer. David the cofounder and CEO of Conexio Genomics Proprietor Limited. Conexio Genomics is a Perth based company in Western Australia. David welcome to Health Professional Radio.

David Sayer: Thanks Wayne.

W: David with a name like Conexio Genomics, it’s obvious you’re doing something in the genes based. Tell us what it is you do and what’s your product and services are.


D: Yes, you’re right. We are in genetic services we’re incredibly niched, we make DNA sequencing based tests, matching unrelated bone marrow donor and patient pairs for bone marrow transplants.

W: That is very niched.

D: It is, yeah. Our customer base is largely clinical laboratory and lab service in the US and Europe. And we also provide kits and office software to the 4 or 5 labs that do this kind of work in Australia.

W: So David how did you come up to be a Fremantle based firm?

D: Well this goes back 13 years my last work was the university that the founder of the company. And it was founded by myself and a colleague at the time then in Goodridge, we both worked in Royal Perth Hospital as medical scientists. Damian is a computer programmer and I’m a medical scientist there.

W: Uh huh.

D: We’ve identified a number of potential products and have potential for application in many labs around the world, but the only way that we could develop them was outside of the hospital system and commercialize them under a company. So it was just Damian and I at the time and Damian was running software and so we were both supporting a sequence analysis software product that was being put to market with the product of an American company who was producing sequencing based typing HLA. And I was based in Fremantle so that’s really where the company started. And there was two of us that started it back 13 years ago, there’s now 14 of it in Western Australia and two in the US and Damian now a resident in Brazil.

W: I am always a sizes in this job at the strength and the depth of entrepreneurship and technology that resides in Australia in the most unlikely places.

D: It was never an ambition of ours really to start a company. It’s just that we have some ideas around products to improve the accuracy of matching for primary donor and recipient pairs. And then we grew organically and continued to develop both sequence analysis software and also with agents.

W: And David is the bone marrow the end of the product range or are there further developments in the pipe line?

D: Well tissue typing is a moving target if you like. The more we learn and the more we need to develop so fortunately for us we haven’t reached the end game yet. We probably only probably got into a position now where we can absolutely accurately tissue type. But what we’re actually doing is that there’s probably other genes in the same region as the tissue typing genes implicated in successful outcome in bone marrow transplants. And so now one of our focuses is to identify some of this genetic markers and include them with our tissue typing test.

W: That’s interesting and I would think right up at the leading edge of the research at this stage.

D: It is, yeah. I mean, we pride ourselves really in the novelty of our products. And I think we’re the first company in this space that’s reached out into other genetic regions in the same vicinity in tissue typing.

W: David as I mentioned earlier, about 95% of our audience are clinicians in acute care settings, doctors, nurses, allied health professionals. What’s the take away message that you’d like them to hear from you today?

D: I think our development has improved the accuracy of tissue typing and it resulted in improved benefits to patients that require unrelated bone marrow transplants.

W: And I guess for many clinicians, this occurs in the back end of the laboratory where they’re not necessarily brand aware or right on top of what’s happening, but I guess that translates to better outcomes for many of their patients.

D That’s exactly right. I mean, the clinicians are able to identify a much better donor for their patient and a much better donor results in much better outcomes. And this improves their lifestyle of the patient and also reduces clinical care cost.

W: David my favorite question in every interview. In every business, in every there pursuit there are misconceptions. What’s the misconception that in the genetic field that drives you nuts and keeps you awake at night?

D: Probably the biggest misconception is that much of this technology need to come from the larger company. I think we’ve been able to show that with some natural and out of the box thinking that were able to develop noble and unique and a very much…product.

W: I can imagine that’s the best misconception that would keep you awake at night in your business. Maybe we can dispel that a little bit today David Sayer cofounder and CEO of Conexio Genomics it’s been a pleasure having you with me, for those people who are interested how can they get in touch with you?

D ( that’s our website or we can be contacted at, I’m happy to receive email.

W: Thank you for that let me just repeat that domain name because I’m forever getting in trouble for mentioning domains and not giving people fair warning to get their pencils ready. So it was www.conexio C O N E X I O hyphen genomics G E N O M I C S ( David it’s been a pleasure having you with me, I do appreciate your time. Thank you for joining us on Health Professional Radio today.

D: Thank you Wayne.

W: If you just missed my conversation with David Sayer from Conexio Genomics, the good news is there’s a transcript. So on our website at there’s a full transcript of this interview. You can also listen to the interview again and in the sound archive both in SoundCloud and on YouTube. My name is Wayne Bucklar you’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio.

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