Minneapolis First of Four Retail Test Markets for DNA Kits

MINNEAPOLIS -- Lunds and Byerly's are among the first stores to sell genetic assessment kits directly to consumers through retail pharmacies.

The kits, Cellf Genetic Assessments, manufactured by Boulder, Colo.-based Sciona, Inc., provide consumers with personalized health and nutritional recommendations based on an individual's diet, lifestyle, and unique genetic profile.

Five nutrigenetic assessments are now available to consumers in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., at PrairieStone Pharmacy locations in Lunds and Byerly's markets, and in eq life, a retail test concept owned by Best Buy.

The Cellf Genetic Assessments require individuals to collect a sample of their DNA using a simple cheek swab, and then complete a diet and lifestyle questionnaire at home. After doing so, they can receive a personalized and confidential nutrition and health assessment based on their genetic profile that they can review with their pharmacist or other qualified healthcare practitioner in the pharmacy.

The five individual kits include: Antioxidant/Detoxification Assessment; Bone Health Assessment; Heart Health Assessment; Inflammation Assessment; and Insulin Resistance Assessment.

Sciona has sold more than 10,000 genetic assessments direct to consumers and healthcare professionals in North America, Europe, and Asia. Based on a positive response, the company made the decision to introduce the Cellf Assessment into retail pharmacies in the U.S. It will introduce its Cellf Genetic Assessments in several additional retail markets in 2005. The company did not specify the markets.

The other test participtant, eq life, is an innovative retail test concept based in Minneapolis, integrating health, wellness, and technology products, resources, and services. The company, which is a division of Best Buy, Inc., opened its first store in Richfield, Minn., in February of this year, and will open two more stores by the end of the year; one in St. Paul and one in Oak Park Heights, Minn.

There are 15 PrairieStone Pharmacy locations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. area, 14 in Lunds and Byerly's markets and one in eq life.
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