Personal genomics startup Genos, an offshoot of Complete Genomics, recently announced a new platform for at-home genetic testing with a small sample of saliva. But unlike other popular DNA testing and collection companies, Genos will examine users exome instead of just the genotype. The former gives in-depth insight into disease, and the latter looks at a smaller number of markers.
The Genos platform will have a “crowdsourcing” component that accoding to a rep for Genos will have “a crowdsourcing component that allows users to easily share their data with researchers but only if the user specifically consents to such data sharing on a study-by-study basis.”
Utilizing next-generation sequencing (NGS) to explore the genome, Genos hopes to compete with established entities like 23andMe, Ancestry.com, and Illumina, which is one of the major players in NGS. But 23andMe has done away with their NGS that could let customers find out their potential risk for diseases after run-ins with the FDA.
Genos CEO Mark Blumling praised the technology in a release stating that:
“It also engages people in their own healthcare like never before. To realize this great potential, we must remove the barriers to accelerating research, and the only way to do that is by putting consent and control over personal genomics data where it belongs—in the hands of individuals.”
After using Genos, said individuals can share their genomic data with four, as of now, research partners including Broad Institute, Utah Center for Biomedical Research, NantBioScience, and NanKwest. Each Genos order is reviewed and authorized by an independent physician or the patient’s personal physician may submit and order.
One of the most headline-worthy components of this venture is the compensation for users. But Genos users won’t be able to pay the mortgage with it. The price for consumers is $499 up-front, and they may be able to receive $50-$200 back for their participation.
This might be of interest to data junkies tired of just having metrics from their wearables to obsess over or those who want a deep dive into their genetic history. But for people who just want to find out where in Europe, Africa, Asia, or the Americas their ancestors came from or whether they are prone to be a bitter taste receptor, 23andMe is $199 – no Rx required.