Macrogen to develop microbiome analytics-based tailored pet healthcare system using dog feces

By Park Sae-jin Posted : November 10, 2020, 16:38 Updated : November 10, 2020, 16:38

[Courtesy of Macrogen]

SEOUL -- Using dog droppings, Macrogen, a biotech company and expert in genomic analysis in South Korea, will develop a tailored pet healthcare system. A database will be created using the analysis of microbiome in dog feces.

The microbiome is the genetic material of all the microbes -- bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses -- that line on and inside the body of animals. Types of the microbiome that form herds change depending on the physical condition of their host.

Macrogen said in a statement on November 10 that the company will develop services for pets using big data of microbiome found on pets. The database of microbiome types will be jointly created through a government-led project involving Macrogen, Seoul National University, Rich Planet, an insurance tech company, and the Rural Development Administration (RDA).

When types of the microbiome are analyzed, medical information will be used to create medication such as lactobacillus pills and develop healthcare services such as pet insurances. Macrogen said it would commercialize a tailor-made pet healthcare service by collaborating with Rich Planet and RDA.

Macrogen researchers will sort microbiome by the age, breed and sizes of canines. They found changes in the specific herds of microbiome collected from aging dogs. The company has launched "myPETGENE," a pet genetic analysis service, in 2016 to collect genetic data of pets including dogs, cats and birds.

According to government data, there are about 5.9 million dogs and 2.5 million cats living with human families. South Korea's pet product market is expected to reach 3.7 trillion won ($33.1 billion) in 2020.
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