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Breaching the Barrier

With Veritas Genomics' announcement of its $999 whole genome sequencing, interpretation, and genetic counseling service, the Financial Times writes that 2016 looks like the year when the long-sought-after breach of the $1,000 genome-sequencing barrier is made. And this and other developments in the field, it says, could affect the development of personalized medicine.

Harvard's George Church, a Veritas co-founder, says that whole-genome sequencing will replace current genetic tests that interrogate only a portion of the genome. Further, Mirza Cifric, the company's chief executive, adds that whole-genome sequencing will also identify variants found outside gene-coding regions.

"The whole genome is the foundation of precision medicine and a lifetime resource to maximize quality of life and longevity," Cifric tells the Financial Times.

Current, most sequencing efforts rely on Illumina machines, the Financial Times notes. While Illumina is planning on expanding its range of offerings later this year with its Firefly platform, it is also facing increased competition from Oxford Nanopore, which is to debut its desktop sequencer PromethIon this summer. Illumina, it notes, has sued Oxford Nanopore for patent infringement.