Progress in DNA sequencing technology have made it cheaper to conduct genetic testing. Over 80 according to AngelList, companies are structuring their own sequencing labs and analytics software from the ground up, using robots to optimize operations.
Color Genomics and Counsyl are two companies that tested for inherited cancer risk, such as ovarian, breast, and colon cancer. Counsel offers tests for family planning and pregnancy. “Historically, tests like this used to cost over $4,000. The Color test launched at $250,” said Othman Laraki, president of Color Genomics.
“While no test will ever be completely error proof, tests run by robots are the closest thing we are ever going to get,” said Kyle Lapham, Counsyl vice president of automation. Most components are in-house design software and custom-built robots that power the labs. Manual interactions were reduced by 90 percent and the machines run 24 hours a day allowing the company to process thousands of tests per year that cost $349 each, said Kyle Lapham of Counsyl. “While no test will ever be completely error proof, tests run by robots are the closest thing we are ever going to get,” stated Lapham.
According to BCC Research the global market for DNA sequencing products is expected to grow to $13.8 billion by 2020.