Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Craig Venter's Company - Human Longevity Inc - and the $250 Commercial Exome

Craig Venter's company, which has been assembling a suite of top-ranking executives, announced on September 22 it would be able to sell exomes for $250.  See press stories here, here.  According to MIT Technology Review,

Jonathan Broomberg, chief executive of Discovery Health, which insures four million people in South Africa and the United Kingdom, says the genome service will be made available as part of a wellness program and that Discovery will pay half the $250, with individual clients covering the rest. 
Gene data would be returned to doctors or genetic counselors, not directly to individuals. The data collected, called an “exome,” is about 2 percent of the genome, but includes nearly all genes, including major cancer risk factors like the BRCA genes, as well as susceptibility factors for conditions such as colon cancer and heart disease. Typically, the BRCA test on its own costs anywhere from $400 to $4,000.
Technology Review adds, "Deals with other insurers could follow."

At its home base in San Diego, the company will open a genetic and health service with $25,000 self-pay services, including genome, microbiome, and whole body MRI studies.