Complete Genomics, a Mountain view based company has come out with a plan to sequence human genomes for $5,000, a far cry from the $2.3 billion the first sequencing cost in 2003. From June, the company plans to sequence 1,000 genomes by the end of 2009.
A Genome contains all of the biological information of a living organism. It is made up of 3 billion pairs of chemicals, called bases, that carry the instructions cells need to make proteins, tissues and organs.
The first human genome was decoded in 2003 at a whopping cost of $ 2.3 billion. Since then, the cost has been steadily decreasing, but was still affordable only to the super rich. The new $ 5,000 per human Genome will make it affordable to everybody . If the current price trends in Genome sequencing continue, Every baby could have its genetic code mapped out at birth within 10 years.
Completegenomics.Inc offers to read entire human genomes at $5000 a shot. Its first human genome sequence from a blood sample collected in 1980 from a 63-year-old man, has been released on its website. The service won't be available to individuals at the moment and will be offered only to companies and academic researchers.
Clifford Reid, chairman and chief executive officer of the company said:We think this is what the pharma companies have been waiting for. We’ll be bringing a new customer to the market that’s potentially the biggest customer for DNA sequencing. Studying variations in the human genome, the complete set of genes, may help scientists and drug makers understand what makes people vulnerable to certain diseases, and how they’ll respond to drugs.
The company expects to sequence over 1,000 Genomes this year and expects to increase it up to 20,000 by 2010. Only 20 human Genomes have been processed since the first human Genome was read in 2003.