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'Betting on New Technology'

Genomic Health has made profit by selling state-of-the-art molecular diagnostics, but now it's time for some new technology to keep the company's growth momentum and revenue stream going, says Xconomy's Luke Timmerman. The company is investing in new diagnostic tests that look for patterns in more genes than today's molecular diagnostics can, Timmerman says. Genomic Health's current diagnostic workhorse, the Oncotype DX test which is used to predict the chance a woman's breast cancer will relapse, has an RT-PCR platform. But PCR becomes really expensive the more genes the test analyzes, Timmerman says, and now the company is looking for a replacement. Genomic Health is now looking into sequencing machines, which are getting cheaper and faster every year, he adds. Genomic Health is also focusing on the bioinformatics side of the equation, "and is working on iPhone, iPad, and Android-based mobile apps to help various consumers of genomic data get meaningful answers from the samples of DNA they sent in," Timmerman says.