Clinical OMICS

MAR-APR 2018

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 28 of 51 March/April 2018 Clinical OMICs 27 tative surgery, cardiac risk mitigation with drugs and con- tingent diagnostics and pharmacogenomics." Preston Estep III, Ph.D, is chief scientific officer of Veri- tas Genetics, which has links to the Personal Genome Proj- ect. Veritas currently reports on a small set of very reliable genetic traits and associations. These include carrier status of pathogenic recessive alleles and information on efficiency of drug metabolism. Estep explained that Veritas provides a private option for individuals who do not wish to make their genetic information publically available through the Personal Genome Project. In the age of epigenetics, genetics is only one factor influ- encing health. Joe Grzymski, Ph.D, and colleagues from the Desert Research Institute and Renown Health in Nevada are sampling genomic data as part of an integrated public health program, the Healthy Nevada Project, which is look- ing at population and environmental health factors, as well as genomic data. The pilot phase of the project enrolled 10,000 people and finished in Dec 2017. The extended phase will recruit early this year and is aiming to include 40,000 people with all par- ticipants undergoing exome sequencing. Return on Investment Last year the sequencing giant Illumina introduced new technology designed to enable a '$100 genome', suggesting that the technology will soon become even cheaper than the current $1,000 benchmark. Church believes it is already cost effective when used to test for severe Mendelian disor- ders that have a large associated treatment cost. Grzymski agrees noting that there is evidence to suggest personal genome sequencing can be cost-effective when used to test for BRCA1/2, Lynch Syndrome, and Familial Hypercho- lesterolemia. But personal genome sequencing through companies such as Veritas, outside of tests suggested to diagnose a current medical condition, is now open only to the select few who can afford it. "We don't try and get medical reim- bursement yet, but that's just because the healthcare system in the U.S. in not quite ready for widespread adoption of whole genome sequencing," said Estep, "but we think that that time is coming." Further, Johnny Kung, Ph.D, director of new initiatives at the Personal Genetic Education Project at Harvard, pointed out that publicly funded healthcare systems such as those in (continued on next page) Veritas Genetics is ramping up its operations for what its founders believe will be nearly "universal demand" for personal genomics. Stanislaw Pytel / Getty Images

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Clinical OMICS - MAR-APR 2018