Garvan founds whole genome sequencing subsidiary, taps DNAnexus for cloud platform


Australia’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research has founded a whole genome sequencing subsidiary. The startup, Genome.One, will make use of an Illumina ($ILMN) HiSeq X Ten sequencing system and DNAnexus’ cloud data management capabilities to analyze the genomes of patients with rare diseases.

Garvan, an early adopter of the HiSeq X Ten, sees Genome.One cutting the time it takes for doctors to identify the genetic factors that are responsible for the condition of rare disease patients in their care. Typically, a physician may work toward a diagnosis by ordering single-gene tests or multigene panels. What Genome.One is offering is a way to look at the whole genome and, as importantly, help with analyzing and interpreting the data.

With Genome.One only sequencing genomes at the request of physicians, as opposed to offering a direct-to-consumer service, its success is partly tied to its ability to persuade healthcare professionals to use its offering. The other barrier to adoption is cost. Genome.One is charging AU$4,360 ($3,280) per genome to self-funded patients, plus an extra AU$2,600 per family member. The hope is that the government will start providing financial support to patients in the future.

In return for the AU$4,360, Genome.One will sequence a sample on Garvan’s HiSeq X Ten, analyze the data to identify relevant variants and deliver a pathology report that interprets the findings. As with any genomics operation, the sequencing itself is just one part of Genome.One’s process, a fact that is reflected in the composition of the team it has put together and its desire to have DNAnexus on board from day one.

Genome.One is starting out with a team of 60 people, most of whom are software engineers, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. And, having worked with DNAnexus in their roles at Garvan, the people behind Genome.One have decided the startup is best served by using the cloud genomics specialist’s platform. DNAnexus’ system will underpin the secure management of data generated by Genome.One.

- read the release

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