Metagenics is a supplement company that distributes through the healthcare practitioner channel, which means that, as opposed to more traditional distribution routes like bricks-and-mortar retail or ecommerce, the company focuses on marketing to healthcare practitioners that would then recommend products to patients.
Last week, it announced that it is opening the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Center (PLMC) in Gig Harbor, WA, home to the company’s North American manufacturing site.
Brent Eck, president and CEO of Metagenics, told NutraIngredients-USA that the center will function like a primary care doctor’s office, complete with insurance-billing capabilities. In addition, clinicians will offer patients what Eck calls “personalized functional medicine that is tailored to the individual.”
Doubling up as clinical research laboratory
While personalized health care centers that focus on preventive care are not entirely new (think naturopathic and alternative medicine practitioners), the center touts a secondary function: A clinical trial laboratory focused on researching personalized nutrition.
Here, researchers will gather data to find correlations between genes, the microbiome, diet, blood markers, and more, with the goal of making predictions for therapeutic programs within the center’s personalized nutrition frame.
This doesn’t mean that data of patients who use PLMC’s services will be added to this database, Eck clarified.
“Should a patient decide to share their data with us for research purposes, we will be happy to use it to support the advancement of nutritional science and support further product development and improvements,” he said.
“We will never share personal data with Metagenics research scientists; a patient’s privacy rights are a primary concern.”
Eck hopes that the PLMC will help “define the model for personalized care and nutrition.”
“We believe that health is a set of skills that can be learned and want the PLMC to be at the forefront of the research that supports that goal,” he added.
“The shared experience of our healthcare practitioner customers demonstrate that many—if not most—chronic illnesses can be treated most effectively through lifestyle interventions, including nutrition.”
Headed by specialized medical team
“Because corporations are not permitted to practice medicine, the PLMC is a separate company owned by the medical staff,” Eck explained. However, Metagenics provides all business services to the clinic under a comprehensive agreement, and the financial results of the PLMC will be consolidated with Metagenics’ results.
In a press release, the company stated that the PLMC was born out of the shared vision of Eck, Jeffrey Bland, PhD, of the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute, and Joseph Lamb, MD, who will lead the PLMC.