Navigenics and 23andme “Complimentary”?

The Latest in Personal Genomics posting over at The Genetical Genealogist found this great quote from Navigenics from VentureBeat:

“Meanwhile, Navigenics board member Dana Mead, a partner at KP, tells us by email that Navigenics is doing something “different” from 23andMe and that he sees the company as “more complimentary than competitive” to 23andMe.”

As everyone keeps mentioning – neither company has a product yet. Certainly the basic genomic information people will buy about themselves isn’t available yet. Speculation on who’s partnering with who is high, and what the information we’ll be able to get remains cloudy (SNP versus whole genome sequence). Just because Illumina let slip they were partnering with 23andme does NOT mean  that 23andme will use a single source instead of using all available technology. This kind of technology changes rapidly, so it seems silly for either company to put themselves in a restricted box (only one technology or a single company as a supplier) for a product that may not even exist yet!  Exactly what is used in the future to sell your genome back to you depends a lot on when each company is ready to launch a service!

What is more likely is that the interpretation side (what exactly is the information going to tell you from your sequence) for each company will have a different focus. With different goals of telling you what the information means, each company could very well use the exact same technology to decode your genome but tell you slightly different (and hence complimentary) answers about yourself – it’s all about the questions each company is promising to answer about what your genome means! So far…they have really not said a whole lot as to what those questions are.

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1 comment so far

  1. [...] more discussion at Genomics Revolution and at VentureBeat:lifesciences. I should also note that David recently mentioned the possibility [...]


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