…well, not quite. It appears that the price of mass gene sequencing is plummeting faster than the world’s stock markets, and a company called Complete Genomics has just announced it is offering full-genome sequencing for 5000$, putting this well within your average Joe’s buying power. As a comparison, remember that the first full sequencing in 2003 cost $2.3 billion!

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However, it’s important to note that the service will initially NOT be available to individuals, but will rather go to pharma companies and academics. This is interesting mainly because it is a sign of things to come – the coming age of personalized medicine will be based exactly on this presence of very low cost genome sequencing, allowing (or, perhaps, forcing) drug companies to include genome screening for their clinical trials patients in order to examine whether the side effects or benefits of their drugs are linked to specific genetic codes within the genome. One day this may become mandatory for marketing authorization…

While 5000$ a pop may still be a bit expensive for outsourcing and companies may yet cling to the machines they own, a company who focuses on sequencing will always ultimately prove cheaper in the long run, similar to any non-core outsourcing effort. Thus, Complete Genomics and the others of its ilk definitely have a future!

Bloomberg Story