Illumina Slashes Cost of Individual Genome Sequencing Service

6/9/10

[Updated 6/11/10 12:05 am. See below.] The cost of getting your genome sequenced continues to drop. San Diego’s Illumina (NASDAQ: ILMN) has lowered the cost of its individual sequencing service to $19,500 from $48,000.

The company is offering a discounted price of $9,500 for people with serious medical conditions who could potentially benefit from having their genomes decoded. Last year, doctors at Yale University reported using whole-genome sequencing to diagnose the mutation responsible for an infant’s persistent diarrhea. The information allowed doctors to tailor their treatment.

Illumina also is offering a discounted price of $14,500 to groups of five or more from the same physician.

[Updates here and below with comments by Illumina CEO Jay Flatley.] “It’s very clear as the price comes down that we’ve been able to open broad new markets,” says Illumina CEO Jay Flatley.

Illumina’s announcement last week came on the heels of Pathway Genomics’ aborted plans to market its genetic test kits in Walgreen drug stores. The retail chain reversed plans to carry the kits after the FDA questioned the company’s decision to market the test without the agency’s approval. Pathway, which is based in San Diego, has maintained it is in compliance with “currently applicable” regulations. Now a Congressional committee is looking into genetic tests marketed on the Internet by Pathway and competitors 23andMe and Navigenics.

The service Pathway intended to offer was … Next Page »

Denise Gellene is a former Los Angeles Times science writer and regular contributor to Xconomy. You can reach her at dgellene@xconomy.com Follow @

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