MOST CREATIVE PEO­PLE

Fast Company - - Contents - NAVEEN JAIN Founder and CEO, Viome —CLAIRE DOD­SON

Moon Ex­press CEO Naveen Jain’s new com­pany, Viome, wants to fight dis­ease by study­ing bac­te­ria in cus­tomers’ guts.

Un­til re­cently, se­rial en­tre­pre­neur Naveen Jain’s most am­bi­tious project was Moon Ex­press, a lit­eral moon­shot that aims to land a rocket on our cratered neigh­bor and use its re­sources to make other plan­ets liv­able for hu­mans. His new­est mis­sion feels just as pro­found: cre­ate a world with­out chronic dis­ease. To ac­com­plish it, he founded Viome, a bac­te­ria-anal­y­sis com­pany that ex­am­ines the micro­organ­isms in users’ guts and coun­sels them on how to keep harm­ful bac­te­ria at bay. In Septem­ber, the Belle­vue, Wash­ing­ton–based com­pany be­gan sell­ing its kits in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, In­dia, and the Mid­dle East.

Har­ness­ing tech­nol­ogy de­vel­oped at the Los Alamos Na­tional Lab in New Mex­ico, Viome em­ploys ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to an­a­lyze the di­ges­tive tract and its ef­fects on the body’s im­mune and meta­bolic sys­tems. (Re­cent stud­ies point to gut in­flam­ma­tion as a pos­si­ble ori­gin for neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­eases, such as Parkin­son’s.) For $59 a month or $599 a year, users sub­mit stool sam­ples ev­ery six months and re­ceive re­ports on their microbiome com­po­si­tion, in­clud­ing nu­tri­tion rec­om­men­da­tions tai­lored to their bac­te­ria. “There’s no such thing as a uni­ver­sal healthy diet,” Jain says. Next, Viome may seek FDA ap­proval, which would al­low the com­pany to be­gin di­ag­nos­ing con­di­tions such as obe­sity and heart dis­ease. “I don’t want to see any­one ever die from Alzheimer’s or can­cer if we can pre­vent them [via diet changes],” Jain says. “My hope is that [Viome] has to even­tu­ally shut down be­cause ev­ery­one is stay­ing healthy.”

How He Stays Pro­duc­tive “I GO WHER­EVER THE BIG­GEST NEEDS ARE.ONE DAY I’M LASER-FO­CUSED ON MOON EX­PRESS. THEN I’LL FO­CUS ON VIO ME FOR THREE MONTHS.”

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