Startup says $100 genome could be on the way

Ultima Genomics, a startup that has raised more than $600 million, said it plans to release a $100 genome, a step that could revolutionize disease diagnosis and precision medicine.

The company presented the first scientific results of its platform at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology conference in early June. The early research has involved scientists from institutions such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Stanford Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine and Baylor College of Medicine.

"DNA is nature's storage media and the instruction set for every living organism, yet with current technologies, we can't access that information at the scale needed to truly understand complex biology," Gilad Almogy, Ultima Genomics' founder and CEO, said in a May 31 news release. "Our architecture is intended for radical scaling, and the $100 genome is merely the first example of what it can deliver. We are committed to continuously drive down the cost of genomic information until it is routinely used in every part of the healthcare system."

The move represents another potential evolution in the expanding field of genomics. In 2006, for example, Science magazine reported on the possibility of a $1,000 genome.

Ultimata Genomics' funding sources include General Atlantic, Andreessen Horowitz and D1 Capital. The startup recently partnered with both Google DeepVariant and Nvidia to leverage their deep learning and artificial intelligence tools for the $100 genome project.

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