DNA Service Terms of Use

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    Acceptance of Terms

    1. Your use of our DNA analysis service (excluding any services provided by Vala under a separate agreement) is subject to the terms of the legal agreement between you and Vala set forth in these Terms and Conditions (TAC). Except as specified herein, these TAC apply to any use of the DNA-focused Services we provide, including but not limited to

      • (1) submitting a saliva sample for DNA extraction and/or epigenetic tracking and processing,
         
      • (2) uploading a digital version of your Genetic Information and interacting with it on the Vala app, and/or
         
      • (3) creating and using a free Vala account in the app without providing your saliva sample or Genetic Information.
    2. In order to use the Services, you must first agree to the TAC. You may not use the Services if you do not accept the TAC. You can accept the TAC by

      • (1) clicking to accept or agree to the TAC, where this option is made available to you by Vala for any Service;
         
      • (2) or by uploading a digital version of your Genetic Information and interacting with it on the Vala app, and/or
         
      • (3) actually using the Services. In this case, you acknowledge and agree that Vala will treat your use of the Services as acceptance of the TAC from that point onwards.
    3. Vala's main telemedicine service is governed by different terms of service.

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    Description Of Services

    1. Genomic Sequencing: Vala have partnered with a genomic sequencing provider called Muhdo. Muhdo collects, analyses and stores the data that make up the part of your DNA code of your genes and your epigenetic markers influencing your genetical expression (Genomic Sequencing). Muhdo obtains this data from the saliva sample that you provide to Vala and return to their lab. The data that result from your Genomic Sequencing, and any interpretation of that data, are your Genetic Information. Vala uses the Genetic Information sent to our App by Muhdo to offer you insights and health recommendations.

    2. Vala App: Your sample is sent to the Muhdo lab where they perform Genomic Sequencing, extracting insights and recommendations about you based on your Genetic Information. That information is encrypted, and sent back to our app which is used to interpret and deliver your Genetic Information. Muhdo acknowledged that some of DNA and epigenetic sequencing may be conducted by third parties with which Muhdo has partnered (Muhdo Partners). The DNA and epigenetic Products we use, only returns a portion of your Genetic Information in order to offer you a specific experience and service.

    3. Vala Account: Vala provides you access to a software platform via the App (Vala App). The Vala account that you create in the app allows you to manage your Genetic Information, the DNA and epigenetic Products you purchased, and other account settings. For the purposes of privacy and security this Account is hosted separately, on a Muhdo AWS server, and is not directly linked to your main Vala Telemedicine Account. We maintain the right to change this in the future if we deem it appropriate to merge your accounts into a single Vala dataset. 

    4. Our service reports on 1,000 biogenetic markers related to health and fitness. Including:

      • (1) Fitness and exercise: improve your overall fitness and training plans with a better understanding of your capacity for power, endurance, flexibility, increased muscle size (muscle hypertrophy), your lactate threshold and oxygen use (VO2 max), your respiration (ATP) recovery rate, injury recovery rate, lean body mass and power to weight ratio.
         
      • (2) Diet and nutrition: find a healthy, sustainable diet specifically designed for you though a better understanding of your responses to protein, total fats, unsaturated fats, carbohydrates, calorie restriction and exercise. These tests can also help you understand your daily need for calories, how to manage weight loss and your risks of obesity and yo-yo dieting.
         
      • (3) Health and wellbeing: your overall health can be significantly improved when you understand your risks for deficiencies in vitamins A, B6, B9, B12, and D as well as minerals such as magnesium and selenium.
         
      • (4) Our tests can also highlight your bone mineral density and how much calcium your body needs, as well as your responses to supplements intended to help with specific issues such as inflammation and collagen formation.
         
      • (5) Psychology: find out more about your body's dopamine response, which can affect behaviour, cognition and motivation.
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    Prerequisites

    1. Whether you submit your own saliva sample, a saliva sample for anyone for whom you have legal authority to agree, or otherwise provide your own Genetic Information, you may not use the Services and may not accept the TAC if

      • (1) you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Vala, or
         
      • (2) you are a person barred from receiving the Services under the laws of the jurisdiction in which you are resident or from which you use the Services.
    2. In addition to the conditions above, if you contribute or otherwise provide your own Genetic Information, you must be eighteen (18) years of age or older to agree to these TAC on behalf of yourself or those for whom you have legal authority to agree.

    3. If your use of the Services includes creating a Vala account, without submitting a saliva sample or otherwise providing Genetic Information, you must be sixteen (16) years of age or older to use our Genomic Sequencing Services and accept the TAC.

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    Registering and accessing the service

    1. To access certain features and functions of the Services, including Genomic Sequencing, you must create a Vala Account in the Vala App. To establish a Vala Account, you must provide certain information that we request. This information includes:

      • (1) your name and email address;
         
      • (2) your date of birth; and
         
      • (3) information we need for quality control in sequencing, such as your sex at birth.
    2. To purchase a DNA and epigenetic Product directly from Vala, you must also provide the following:

      • (1) your billing and mailing address and phone number; and
         
      • (2) your credit card or other requested billing information.
    3. You agree to let us know immediately of any unauthorised account access or any other breach of security. You also agree to ensure that you log out securely from your account at the end of each session. Vala cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage that results from your failure to comply with these obligations. You authorise Vala to authenticate your identity when accessing the Services. This may include asking you for your date of birth and other information that will allow Vala to reasonably verify your identity. If we believe that you have violated these Terms of Service, we have the right at any time to disable or terminate access to your account.

    4. By registering for the Services, you represent and warrant that the registration information you provide is accurate, current and complete. You also agree that all information you provide to us, no matter how you do so, is governed by our Privacy Policy and Data Retention Policy. You consent to us using your information in ways that are consistent with those two policies. You must obtain Internet access to use the Services.

    5. When you create a Vala Account in the App, you must choose a password and treat your password as confidential. You agree not to let someone else access the Services using your username, password or other security information.

    6. Your mailing address will be used to send you a Vala Kit. You are responsible for (i) any Internet access fees and providing your own equipment for Internet access, and (ii) ensuring that all persons who access the Services through your internet connection or on your behalf are aware of these Terms of Service and comply with them.

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    Disclosure of Information

    1. In order to use the Services, you must first acknowledge and agree to our Privacy Policy. You may not use the Services if you do not accept our Privacy Policy. You can acknowledge and agree to the Privacy Policy by;

      • (1) clicking to accept or agree to the Privacy Policy, where this option is made available to you by Vala for any Service; or by
         
      • (2) actually using the Services. You acknowledge and agree that Vala has the right to monitor any use of its systems by its personnel at any time and maintain copies documenting such monitoring.

      Our Privacy Policy sets forth the only expectations of privacy any individual should have in terms of usage of the Vala Services, website, or other systems.

    2. If you have given consent for your Genetic Information and Self-Reported Information to be used in Research, they may include your information in the Aggregated Genetic Information and Self-Reported Information we disclose to third parties for the purpose of publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The Muhdo Lab may also include your information in Aggregated Genetic and Self-Reported Information disclosed to third-party non-profit and/or commercial research partners who will not publish that information in a peer-reviewed scientific journals.

    3. Muhdo will never release your individual-level Genetic Information and/or Self-Reported Information to any third party without asking for and receiving your explicit consent to do so, unless required by law.

    4. Further, you acknowledge and agree that Muhdo is free to preserve and disclose any and all Personal Information to law enforcement agencies or others if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to:

      • (1) comply with legal process (such as a judicial proceeding, court order, or government inquiry) or obligations that Muhdo may owe pursuant to ethical and other professional rules, laws, and regulations;
      • (2) enforce the Muhdo TOS;
         
      • (3) respond to claims that any content violates the rights of third parties; or (d) protect the rights, property, or personal safety of Muhdo, its employees, its users, its clients, and the public.
         

      In such event we will notify you through the contact information you have provided to us in advance, unless doing so would violate the law or a court order.

    5. You understand that the technical processing and transmission of the Services, including your Personal Information, may involve

      • (1) transmissions over various networks; and
         
      • (2) changes to conform and adapt to technical requirements of connecting networks, or devices.
         

      Finally, Vala may, in its sole discretion, restrict access to the website for any reason.

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    Requesting Genomic Sequencing Services

    1. To have your DNA sequenced and/or your gene expression analysed for use with the Vala App, you must receive and use Vala's kit for the collection of your saliva sample (“Vala Kit”). When you send us a saliva sample using the Vala Kit, you agree to the following:

      • (1) You are submitting your own saliva sample and not the sample of another person.
         
      • (2) You are 18 years of age or older.
         
      • (3) You allow Vala's lab partner, Muhdo, to perform Genomic Sequencing on any saliva sample you submit. If any of your saliva sample(s) or extracted DNA is left over after sequencing is completed, they will store it for 12 months for future tests and reports. They may also store it for quality control and optimisation in their lab, including occasionally updating your Genetic Information to reflect quality improvements and advances in our Genomic Sequencing.
         
      • (4) You allow Muhdo to perform analyses on your Genomic Sequencing data to generate Genetic information. You allow Muhdo to collect, process and store the resulting Genetic Information in accordance with these Terms of Service.
         
      • (5) You allow Muhdo to share relevant personal and Genetic Information with you, via the Vala App.
         
      • (6) You understand that health-related interpretations are for information purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat diseases. You should consult a Vala physician, genetic counsellor or qualified health professional before acting on any interpretation.
    2. Retesting Policy. Muhdo may be unable to process your saliva sample on our first attempt, which may be either due to an issue with the submitted sample or with our laboratory process. If this is the case, and if enough of your sample is left over, the Lab may attempt to process your sample again at no charge. If they are still unable to process your sample, you will be sent a second Vala kit at no charge. However, if we are unable to process your sample because of a violation of these Terms of Service, a fee may apply to receive a replacement Vala kit. If your second sample cannot be processed, you may contact us for more options.

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    Risks and Considerations Regarding this Service

    1. Once you obtain your Genetic Information, the knowledge is irrevocable. You should not assume that any information we may be able to provide to you, whether now or as genetic research advances, will be welcome or positive. You should also understand that as research advances, in order for you to assess the meaning of your DNA in the context of such advances, you may need to obtain further services from Vala, your regular physician, a genetic counsellor, or other health care provider. We encourage you to talk to a genetic counsellor, a health professional with special training in genetic conditions, prior to collecting your sample for testing to learn more so you can make an informed decision about whether testing is right for you. A genetic counsellor also can help you understand your results and options.

    2. Some people feel a little anxious about getting genetic health results. This is normal. If you feel very anxious, you should speak to a Vala physician or a genetic counsellor prior to collecting your sample for testing.

    3. You should not change your health behaviours solely on the basis of information from the Vala app. Make sure to discuss your Genetic Information with a Vala physician or other health care provider before you act upon the Genetic Information resulting from Vala app. There may be unknown genes, environmental factors, or lifestyle choices that are far more important predictors. In any case, if you have concerns or questions about what you learn through Vala, you should contact your physician or other health care provider. Please note, that genetic risk assessment is not applicable to results of carrier screening tests.

    4. Genetic research is not comprehensive. While we measure many hundreds of thousands of data points from your DNA, only a small percentage of them are known to be related to human traits or health conditions. The research community is rapidly learning more about genetics, and an important mission of Vala is to conduct and contribute to this research. In addition, many ethnic groups are not included in genetic studies. Because interpretations provided in our service rely on these published studies, some interpretations may not apply to you. Future scientific research may change the interpretation of your DNA. In the future, the scientific community may show previous research to be incomplete or inaccurate.

    5. Genetic Information you share with others could be used against your interests. You should be careful about sharing your Genetic Information with others. Currently, very few businesses or insurance companies request genetic information, but this could change in the future. While the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act was signed into law in the United States in 2008, its protection against discrimination by employers and health insurance companies for employment and coverage issues has not been clearly established. In addition, GINA does not cover life, long-term care, or disability insurance providers. Some, but not all, states and other jurisdictions have laws that protect individuals with regard to their Genetic Information.

    6. You may want to consult a lawyer to understand the extent of legal protection of your Genetic Information before you share it with anybody. Furthermore, Genetic Information that you choose to share with your physician or other health care provider may become part of your medical record and through that route be accessible to other health care providers and/or insurance companies in the future.

    7. Genetic Information that you share with family, friends or employers may be used against your interests. Even if you share Genetic Information that has no or limited meaning today, that information could have greater meaning in the future as new discoveries are made. If you are asked by an insurance company whether you have learned Genetic Information about health conditions and you do not disclose this to them, this may be considered to be fraud.

    8. Vala does not endorse, warranty or guarantee the effectiveness of any specific course of action, resources, tests, physician or other health care providers, drugs, biologics, medical devices or other products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on our website. If we provide to you through our app any recommendations that identify for you, based on your Genetic and Self-Reported Information and scientific literature or research, potentially actionable information, this information is intended for informational purposes only and for discussion with your physician or other healthcare provider.

    9. As explained on our website, Vala believes that

      • (1) genetics is only part of the picture of any individual’s state of being,
         
      • (2) the state of the understanding of Genetic Information is rapidly evolving and at any given time we only comprehend part of the picture of the role of genetics, and
         
      • (3) only a trained physician or other health care provider can assess your current state of health or disease, taking into account many factors, including in some cases your genetics as well as your current symptoms, if any.
         

      Reliance on any information provided by Vala, Vala employees, others appearing on our website at the invitation of Vala, or other visitors to our website is solely at your own risk.

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