It took almost all of 2018, but Genetic Technologies has now finally reached a deal to get into blockchain.

Genetic Technologies (ASX:GTG) told investors today that its subsidiary Gene Ventures will enter a joint venture with Blockshine Technology.

The joint venture company will be called Blockshine Health and will investigate blockchain opportunities in the biomedical sector.

The news sent shares up nearly 17 per cent to an intra-day high of 0.7c.

Genetic Technologies chairman and CEO Dr Paul Kasian told Stockhead this partnership was the real deal.

“Nothing gets done overnight,” he said.

“There’s a proper contract in place.

“We just thought it would be more productive for everybody if we sort of separated the two areas out, and there’s more expertise being able to be applied to the blockchain by putting it into Blockshine Health.”

Genetic Technologies (ASX:GTG) shares over the past year.
Genetic Technologies (ASX:GTG) shares over the past year.

Mr Kasian said Blockshine has 150 programmers and a presence in Japan, China and Australia.

“So effectively they’ve got far more reach and basically we’ve tucked it under there so they can manage the project and we think it’s more efficient.”

This leaves Genetic Technologies free to focus on its genomics.

The main opportunity for blockchain in the biomedical space is to protect a person’s genetic data.

With people now able to send their DNA off to places like Ancestry and 23andMe and receive online results, there is the risk of other people gaining access to their genomics.

“If you think of the brave new world, a lot of people will get their genomics done, but they don’t really want the whole world to have access to it,” Mr Kasian said.

“So one potential use of it is that you have your DNA sequence and you control who accesses it.”

Mr Kasian was part of a move in late 2017 by a group backed by Melbourne investor Sam Lee who founded investment vehicle Blockchain Global.

Riding the blockchain train of early 2018, they promised to turn Genetic Technologies into a blockchain-based medical data management company and review its flagship product, a breast cancer genetic test.