by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted November 29, 2007 in DNA Testing
Hope you’ve been saving your pennies because starting today, you can order your entire genomic sequence from Knome. Please see Eye on DNA’s interview with Knome CEO Jorge Conde
is due to be published this week (he promised!) but until then. Here you can feast your eyes on the press release!
HUMAN WHOLE-GENOME SEQUENCING HITS COMMERCIAL MARKET
20 individuals to be among first in history to be fully sequenced
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts – Nov. 27, 2007 – Knome, a personal genomics company, today announced the launch of the first commercial whole-genome sequencing and analysis service for individuals.
“In 2003, the Human Genome Project completed a 12-year effort to sequence the first human genome at a cost of $3 billion. Only very recently have costs come down to a level where it is now feasible for private individuals to be sequenced and analyzed. We expect this evolution to quickly usher in a new era in personalized medicine,” said Dr. George Church, PhD, a cofounder of the firm and Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School.
First to know, first to benefit
Knome today opens enrollment for its first sequencing flight. Because the sequencing and analysis process is both labor and computationally intensive, initial capacity is expected to be limited to approximately 20 clients.
“To date, Craig Venter and James Watson are the only named individuals to have their genome sequenced. Our first 20 clients will have a historic opportunity to help pioneer the emerging field of personal genomics. They will be among the first to know and the first to benefit from the latest advances in our rapidly developing understanding of the human genome,” said Jorge Conde, the firm’s CEO.
Building the gold standard
Whole-genome sequencing decodes the 6 billion bits of information that make up an individual’s genome. Unlike existing genome scanning or “SNP chip” technologies that provide useful but limited information on approximately 20 conditions, whole-genome sequencing allows for the analysis of up to 2,000 common and rare conditions, and over 20,000 genes – numbers that are rapidly growing.
“Whole-genome sequencing is the endgame,” according to Mr. Conde. “It will enable us to look at nearly 100% of your genetic code compared to the less than 0.02% currently available on SNP chips. This is the approach that most fully reveals what our genomes can tell us about ourselves.”
Pricing for Knome’s service will start at $350,000, including whole-genome sequencing and a comprehensive analysis from a team of leading geneticists, clinicians and bioinformaticians. This team will also provide continued support and counseling.
“Knome’s goal is to establish the gold standard in personal genomic services for individuals. We are bringing our clients the latest sequencing technology, Knome’s proprietary analytic engine and security solutions, and access to top genomic scientists and medical professionals,” said Conde. “Analytics, privacy and on-going client service are as important to us as the actual sequencing.”
Core to the fundamental principles of the company, clients will retain full ownership of their personal genome and have the ability to anonymously share all or portions of their genome with researchers and other medical professionals.
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Knome has the distinction of being the first personal genomics company to commercially offer whole-genome sequencing and analysis services for individuals. Working alongside leading geneticists, clinicians and bioinformaticians from Harvard and MIT, Knome enables its clients to obtain, understand, and share their genomic information in a manner that is both anonymous and secure. Knome is a privately funded company. Please visit www.knome.com for more information.
Knome is a trademark of Knome, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.
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