Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Illumina Gets Into Personal Genome Sequencing
San Diego-based Illumina, which makes gene sequencing and other related life sciences equipment, said Wednesday afternoon that the firm is getting into the personal genome sequencing market. According to Illumina, it will offer complete coverage of the human genome sequence for under $50,000, and will also create a "social community" focused on education and exchange of information for people who have had their genome sequenced. The new service puts Illumina into competition with a number of startups--probably most notably, Google-backed 23andMe, which is headed by Sergey Brin's wife, Anne Wojcicki--along with firms like Knome, deCODEme, and Navigenics, who all offer their own personal genome sequencing services. Illumina's equipment is used by many of those firms, and others, for the gene sequencing process. In launching the service, Illumina said it will partner with 23andMe, deCODE Genetics, Knome and Navigenics, to encourage secondary data analysis on the data derived from its sequencing efforts, including calculation of disease risk, ancestry, and information on traits of interest.