The longer an insured lives, the lower their life insurance premiums can be. Our M-Panel Mortality Test for life insurance provides dramatically improved hazard ratio estimates for life insurance customers. This offers the opportunity for life insurers to either lower the premiums for attractive customers (increasing competitiveness and growth) or to significantly increase profits.
This test can be conducted from the same blood samples that are already collected to underwrite life insurance or by using mail-in saliva collection kits
The current gold standard test used in the life insurance industry to determine smoking status is a biomarker known as cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine metabolism in the body. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found the half-life of cotinine in the human body to be an average of 16 to 19 hours, which means that more than 95 percent of cotinine is eliminated from the human body after about three days, making it easy for smokers who stop smoking for just three days to pass as non-smokers.
In contrast, our patent pending M-Panel Smoking Test analyzes methylation patterns in saliva to assess a variety of smoking patterns, including short-term and long-term effects of smoking on the epigenome. Using a single biological sample like saliva, the M-Panel Smoking Test identiﬁes four categories of smokers: current smokers, recent quitters, long-term quitters, and never smokers. Our test can also estimate the amount of cigarettes an individual currently smokes, an important factor in determining one’s risk for morbidity and mortality. We believe our M-Panel Smoking Test will provide higher accuracy and details of individual smoking behavior that are not currently on the market.
Similar to smoking tobacco, alcohol consumption leads to changes in the epigenome which may be useful in life insurance underwriting decisions. Today, quantiﬁcation of alcohol intake is currently limited to self-report, as well as a limited number of biomarkers that have their own strengths and limitations. Our patent pending M-Panel Alcohol Test is based on scientiﬁc research that identiﬁes speciﬁc methylation signatures for different drinking patterns. Building upon these ﬁndings, the proprietary algorithm underlying our M-Panel Alcohol Test identiﬁes three types of alcohol consumption patterns with a single biological sample such as from saliva: heavy drinkers, moderate drinkers, and light/non-drinkers.
We continue to further validate, reﬁne and expand our epigenetic M-Panel testing capabilities. In particular, we are working with leading researchers to enhance the efficacy of our M-Panel testing technology. We are partnering with a major life insurance company to concurrently run M-Panel testing and life insurance underwriting analysis on 10,000 individual insurance applicants. In doing so, we will be able to compare the added benefit of our tests compared to current underwriting practice on an individual-by-individual basis.