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Navigenics – A Personal Genomics Start-Up

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Last week, the genomic start-up company Navigenics issued a press release introducing their team of advisors and investors, and announcing $25 million in financing. There was an accompanying story in the Wall Street Journal, “Is There a Heart Attack in Your Future?” According to the article, the tests that will eventually be offered by Navigenics have already been tested by at least one of the company’s co-founders:

“David Agus, a cancer researcher at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles who is a co-founder of the company, says he took the test and found he had a 68% risk of having a heart attack in his lifetime, compared with about 40% in the general population. His kids, he says, now help him stay away from French fries. “I’m a believer in empowerment,” he says.”

David Hamilton at VentureBeat: life sciences covered the press release and the WSJ journal with “Navigenics finally offers you a peek at your genome — except not really, and not yet.” As Hamilton points out, Navigenics is currently “taking pre-orders for the testing service, which will essentially scan your genome for individual DNA ‘letters’ (technically, nucleotides or base pairs) that differ from those in established ‘reference’ genomes.” He also writes:

“Pricing still isn’t final, but the company’s [head of business affairs] DuRoss says an initial registration fee will run around $2,500 and will cover a year of the Navigenics service. Additional years will probably be priced at around $250.”

ScienceRoll has an interesting round-up of Navigenics, 23andMe, and Helix Health. He reviews their websites and their (proposed) services, and creates a wishlist for the three companies. Eye on DNA has a great post as well.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007

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