Wamberg Genomic Advisors is trying to create a new revenue stream for DNA testing labs, insurers and brokers — and easier access to testing services that could help some people who have tumors beat their tumors.
The La Jolla, California-based company has an idea: sell insurance that can pay for tumor DNA profiling services, and related services, if the insureds develop tumors.
Tom Wamberg, the company’s chief executive officer, talked about his company during a recent interview in New York. Wamberg attended a LIMRA conference in an effort to persuade life insurers to add the company’s Cancer Guardian service package as a standard or add-on feature.
“This is a tidal wave that’s coming,” Wamberg said.
Here are seven things to know about Wamberg and the Cancer Guardian service.
1. Wamberg has serious insurance industry experience.
From 1984 through 1987, Wamberg was the founder and chief executive officer of American Benefits Corp.
Later, he was a visible player in the executive benefits industry, as executive vice president of the Clark/Bardes Organization from 1984 through 1985, and as the CEO and chairman of Clark Consulting from 1995 through 2007.
For years he was one of the authorities on topics such as corporate-owned life insurance and executive retirement arrangements.
He started Wamberg Genomic Advisors in 2017.
2. Wamberg Genomic Advisors is like a distributor for DNA testing labs.
Manufacturers have been selling commercial DNA sequencing systems since 1992. The machines read the strings of “nucleotides,” or genetic information bits, on chromosomes. Chromosomes are the tiny threads inside our cells that store our genetic information. Chromosomes carry the operating systems and apps that make our bodies work.
The labs that use the DNA sequencing systems now offer about 70,000 different genetic tests. Many of the labs have to struggle to find paying clients.
Potential users of DNA sequencing services may have no idea what DNA sequencing is, let alone what they could do with the results from DNA sequencing.
Wamberg Genomic Advisors aims to match labs with tests of interest to insurers with insurers.
“We speak insurance and we speak genomics,” Tom Wamberg said.
3. The sequencing tests themselves are medium-expensive.
One comprehensive genomic profiling test for a cancer patient can cost about $5,800 to $10,000, according to the Wamberg Genomic Advisors data.