Jeff Bussgang has a very interesting post this morning about the tremendous potential associated with the lowered cost of genetic sequencing. 23andMe recently ran a one-day discount offering their Personal Genome Service for $99, down from $499, and even more recently have dropped the base price to $199.
What does it mean if knowing and securely storing your genome costs less than a new iPhone? According to Bussgang:
“What might happen with that kind of large-scale genomic data available in that format? Inbound marketing. Rather than pharmaceutical companies pushing drugs through their large sales force, they can access this database and alert consumers as to what drugs might fit what genomic profile. Rather than hunt for clinical trial candidates in hospitals throughout the world, drug companies can email the relevant 1000 patients that precisely fit the indication they would like to test.”
So what do you think? Would you be comfortable with a pharmaceutical company contacting you based on what’s in your genome? What privacy controls would have to be in place?