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New Releases: Oct 19, 2011

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Existence Genetics has launched a genetic testing service that analyzes customers' risk for more than 1,000 diseases, traits, and medication reactions in a single run.

The Los Angeles-based company is offering the $749 Full Genome Analysis test through physicians and claims to report results in around three weeks.

The service includes carrier testing for both common and rare conditions, disease predisposition analysis, and variants that predispose people to be at heightened risk for adverse reactions or experience variable responses to drugs. "Our company has been operational and providing genetic testing for a while now … but the recent upgrade to our system that now allows us to analyze over 1,000 phenotypes just went live within the past few weeks," Existence Genetics CEO Brandon Colby said in an e-mailed statement.

Upon the recommendation of their physician, customers can also receive more targeted testing from the company, such as its Rare Disease Screen for $299. The company also markets "panel screening," which bundles genetic tests to address "a particular area of concern," such as preventable sudden death and wellness and longevity. These panels cost between $300 and $500 for physicians, which they may mark up by 10 percent, according to previous statements by Colby.

The comprehensive Full Genome Analysis service is based on the company's Nexus DNA chip, which was designed by Colby but is manufactured by Illumina. The Laboratory Corporation of America will run customer saliva samples at its CLIA-certified lab, and test for more than 1,500 genes.

As previously reported by PGx Reporter sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News, Colby believes that whole-genome sequencing is only two years away from widespread clinical use, at which point Existence will begin offering such services.

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