Genomics is an area of technology that changes at an alarmingly rapid rate. It’s difficult to find types of other fields which have undergone change at similar rates, आनुवंशिकी but comparisons could include the evolution of computer technology in the last several decades or the rapid growth of Internet startups in the 90s. Unlike these examples, the growth of genome sequencing technology is limited to a specific technological sector, or at the very least, it has been until now.
Sequencing technology is currently passing a critical point, of which the cost of whole genome sequencing is in fact lower than the cost of managing a conventional panel of genetic tests. Though it is difficult to calculate a defined figure with this, it probably lies in the range of $1K-$10K. Illumina’s HiSeq platform or IonTorrent’s Proton both promise genomic sequencing in this range, along with Complete Genomics. Even as we pass this point, genome sequencing moves from the realm of research technology to viable clinical diagnostic test.
The effects with this change may be observed in the growing widespread fascination with sequencing technology. While technologies of this type have revolutionized many aspects of research in the last decade, their use in clinical settings has profound implications with this industry. Research applications can only just provide a restricted source of profits. Getting into clinical applications provides access to a much larger number of capital, both due to the larger market and higher profit margins.
The clinical introduction of genome sequencing technology will change many areas of healthcare within the next few years. Genome sequencing could eventually take the area of a standard part of a patient’s healthcare record, in quite similar way as blood type and allergies to medication are used today. However, we’ve a lot of ground to cover before we get to the point. For entrepreneurs in this field, this equates to a selection of exciting opportunities.
While interpretation of genomic has been an important part of research, the growing use of this data in clinical fields will generate a great demand for the unambiguous interpretation of results. Physicians want an unambiguous questions such as for instance disease predisposition, and they’d like a reliable party to assume the responsibility for causeing the judgement. Recently, an increasing number of companies have entered the area of genomic data interpretation, most of them small startups such as for instance Genformatic, a Bioinformatics company situated in Austin. Larger companies have also begun to concentrate on providing these services. As this industry evolves, it is likely that more companies may enter this realm, and it will be interesting to observe how things develop in this area.
While anyone with experience in Molecular Biology possesses the mandatory skills to prepare and run libraries, a lot of things can fail in this process. Even in pure research applications, sample preparation can be an increasingly common service given by many different centers, along with boutique services, such as for instance Genome Organizer’s ChIP-Seq service. It’s not that researchers can’t perform these tasks, nevertheless when they’re designed for a fee, they see little benefit to running these services for themselves. As genomic sequencing moves in to the clinical realm, demand for such services can be expected to increase. There are not many hospitals with the present capability to execute basic sample preparation, and this represents a fresh part of opportunity in this field.
One of the greatest aspects of uncertainty of this type today is how samples can get from physicians’ offices to sequencing centers, and who will inform patients of these results. Though medical school curricula may 1 day include the interpretation of genomic data, we’re far from the period today. Currently, even the administration and interpretation of Genetic tests is generally left to individuals in the field of Genetic Counseling, in collaboration with statisticians and specialists. Although it is likely that a selection of other professionals will take over the responsibility with this field in the foreseeable future, it is likely that in the longer term, the growth can take place through this field.