New Company To Provide Testing For Cancer Genes

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Written by Kelsey on June 16, 2015. Posted in Blog

On April 21, Color Genomics announced it's launching an immediately-available 249 test for genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer alongside 15 million in financing. According to GEN News, the company is seeking to make genetic testing available to every person, regardless of his or her financial situation.

The "Color Test" is designed to analyze mutations in the BCRA1 and BRCA 2 genes, along with 17 others that are known to indicate a predisposition for breast and ovarian cancer.

BRCA1 was made famous when Angelina Jolie disclosed that she underwent a preventative mastectomy after discovering the mutation of the gene was present.

According to Color, all of its tests are physician-ordered and carried out in its CLIA-certified lab. Testing also includes access to genetic counseling at no additional costs.

In a blog post the company said, "Every woman should have the choice and opportunity to get tested for her genetic risk of breast and ovarian cancer in an affordable, accessible, high-quality way."

Color said it is partnering with major cancer centers to provide free testing to women who would normally be unable to afford it. It specifically named University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the University of Washington Medical Center and the Abrahamson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The company calls this initiative its Every Woman Program.

Color also notes that men may benefit from the testing as they may carry a mutation which could raise their risks for cancer, including the less common male breast cancer.

Headquartered in Burlington, CA, Color Genomics is funded by a variety of heads from different industries. GEN news notes funders include, "The Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone; Laurene Powell Jobs, Widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs; Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang; and Dropbox co-founder CEO Drew Houston."

"Building a high-quality, but affordable test required significant investments in software design, big data, bio-informatics, CLIA compliance, laboratory automation, and genetics," said company president Othman Laraki, in a statement. "By marrying multiple emerging disciplines, we have developed something many did not think was possible."

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