Quest Diagnostics Launches Automated Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Engine To Power AncestryHealth®
SECAUCUS, N.J., Aug. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A new innovation in advanced genetic sequencing automation from Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX) will now enable individuals to access highly accurate genetic testing providing insights into inherited diseases including cancers of the breast, colon and other conditions through AncestryHealth®.
Quest developed a faster and cheaper way to perform next generation sequencing (NGS) to power AncestryHealth, a new consumer genetics offering launched by Ancestry® on August 3. AncestryHealth provides genetic screening of risks for an expanded set of health conditions -- such as heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer and blood disorders. AncestryHealth powered by NGS looks at more regions in a person's genome than microarray-based testing technology.
"This improvement in automating next generation sequencing will enable genetic screening faster and at much lower cost, and could have profound implications for healthcare in the future, truly empowering better health through actionable insights for millions of people who want to know more about their health risks," said Steve Rusckowski, Chairman, Chief Executive and President, Quest Diagnostics. "The improvements our scientists have made in quality and productivity represent a step change for genetic testing. It wasn't long ago that genetic sequencing took months and cost thousands of dollars. Quest's proprietary innovation enables sequencing insights in a fraction of the time at a fraction of the cost."
The new technology platform, developed at Quest's Advanced Diagnostics Research and Development centers in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and Marlborough, Mass., combines advancements at every stage of the process including sample miniaturization, lab automation, and state-of-the-art sequencing and bioinformatics pipelines. The launch marks a dramatic shift in consumer-initiated genetic testing, which, for the last decade, has largely been based on microarray technology. Because NGS technology can access orders of magnitude more of the genome, including challenging-to-sequence variants, the NGS technology that powers AncestryHealth does a better job of determining if someone is at greater risk for some of the most common inherited health conditions.
"When it comes to your health and your family's health, the more you know the better," said Ron Park, MD, EVP of Health and DNA at Ancestry. "Through Ancestry's collaboration wth Quest Diagnostics, we are able to expand access to valuable genetic health screening information at a time when health is top of mind for everyone."
Quest is providing the technology for use in AncestryHealth and AncestryDNA® offerings under an exclusive agreement. Additional details of the agreement were not disclosed. Quest has supported AncestryDNA since 2017 using microarray technology at its Advanced Diagnostics Center of Excellence in Marlborough, Massachusetts.
AncestryHealth powered by NGS can achieve about 80-90 percent detection of inherited risk for specific health conditions.1 For breast and ovarian cancer, for example, this means the NGS technology powering AncestryHealth has a risk detection rate four times higher than most microarray-based tests.
For more information about Ancestry's commitment to advancing genomic science, including Ancestry's COVID-19 Research Study, visit: https://www.ancestry.com/health.
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics
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