Enhanced Humans

Start-Up Pledges To Cut Cost of Breast Cancer Genetic Testing From $4000 to $249

  • The company has raised $15 million from venture capital firms Khosla Ventures and Formation 8, as well as a group of private investors that include Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, Rockefeller University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, and BlackRock co-founder Susan Wagner.
  • For years, the main seller of these genetic tests, for genes including the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, has been Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City, Utah. It charges about $4,000 for its most expensive test. But in 2013, Myriad lost a Supreme Court case related to its patents on the genes, which has allowed other companies to do the same kind of testing for much less. 
  • Esserman says that she thinks Color could change the world of breast cancer genetics. “It becomes cheap and easy to know,” she says. “The more common and public the more we can understand it. The more we push it underground, the less we’ll understand it. It doesn’t have to be a secret.”

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