SAN FRANCISCO & BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nebula Genomics today announced a first in direct-to-consumer genomics: the opportunity to have one’s whole genome sequenced, for free, through its new platform, nebula.org.
The Nebula platform will connect consumers with scientists in industry and academia to help advance biomedical research. Individuals who are interested in getting sequenced can answer health-related questions, which will earn them Nebula credits. These credits can be redeemed towards personal genome sequencing and a variety of other offerings. Individuals who share information about their health will also have the chance to attract researchers who will pay their sequencing costs in exchange for access to their genomic data. To get sequenced immediately individuals can also purchase personal genome sequencing starting at $99, which will provide them analysis of their ancestry and inherited traits.
“Nebula will enable individuals to get sequenced at much lower cost through sequencing subsidies paid by the biopharma industry,” said George Church, co-founder of Nebula Genomics and professor at Harvard Medical School and MIT. “We need to bring the costs of personal genome sequencing close to zero to achieve mass adoption.”
Unlike most other personal genomics companies, Nebula Genomics uses next-generation sequencing that reads out the whole genome and generates thousands of times more data than other technologies. As a result, Nebula will provide its users a more accurate interpretation of their genetic information, and will give researchers access to more comprehensive genomic datasets that are far more useful for identifying genetic variants that cause diseases and developing new drugs.
“In addition to sequencing costs, data privacy concerns due to lack of transparency deter many people from sequencing their genomes,” said Dennis Grishin, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder of Nebula Genomics. “We want to address this challenge by giving individuals full control over their personal genomic data.”
Nebula’s platform uses blockchain to give individuals the ability to decide who has access to their data. Unlike with most other personal genomics companies, Nebula users will be able to know who is requesting access to their data -- and for what purpose -- and can decline data access requests. Nebula Genomics is also developing encryption-based, privacy-enhancing technologies that will help protect shared genomic data.
Because Nebula was designed so that individuals can retain ownership of their personal genomic data, in the future the platform will also function as a genomic and health data marketplace through which researchers will compensate individuals for sharing their health and genomic data.
“For far too long, companies offering genetic testing have asked their customers to simply give away their valuable genomic data, and then have sold it without their knowledge,” said Kamal Obbad, CEO & Co-founder of Nebula Genomics. “We want to change this and make people feel comfortable about personal genome sequencing by enabling data sharing in a secure, transparent and equitable manner.”
About Nebula Genomics
Nebula Genomics is a personal genomics company with a mission to build a large and trustworthy genomic and health data marketplace for consumers, researchers and the medical community. Using blockchain, Nebula ensures that consumers maintain anonymity and control of their data while being compensated for its use. The Nebula platform will aggregate a critical mass of genetic information that researchers can analyze in order to accelerate drug development, streamline clinical trials, and usher in the era of truly personalized medicine. The company was founded by Harvard genomics pioneer George Church, along with Harvard researchers Dennis Grishin and Kamal Obbad. Founded in 2017, Nebula Genomics has offices in San Francisco, CA and Boston, MA and is backed by investors including Khosla Ventures, Arch Venture Partners, Fenbushi Capital, Mayfield, F-Prime Capital Partners, Great Point Ventures, Windham Venture Partners, Hemi Ventures, Mirae Asset, Hikma Ventures and Heartbeat Labs. For more information, follow @NebulaGenomics on Twitter and Facebook or visit nebula.org.