Calls for adoption of privacy-preserving technologies by direct-to-consumer personal genomics companies
SAN FRANCISCO & BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nebula Genomics, a privacy-focused personal genomics company, has launched a new privacy-preserving feature - anonymous genetic testing. Nebula Genomics customers will now be able to purchase whole-genome sequencing, submit their sample, and receive their results without having to reveal any information about themselves such as name, address or credit card number. Nebula Genomics is the first personal genomics company to offer anonymous genetic testing.
This feature will eliminate several potential vulnerabilities individuals are exposed to when purchasing genetic testing services. Most importantly, enabling individuals to remain anonymous would remove the dependence on data de-identification by personal genomics companies prior to data sharing with researchers.
In an article published this week in Nature Biotechnology, Nebula Genomics co-founders describe how various cryptographic techniques can be applied to make sharing of personal genomic data controllable, transparent and secure. The article also calls for direct-to-consumer personal genomics companies to put their customers in control of their personal data in order to address prevalent privacy concerns that have become a barrier to wider adoption of genetic testing. As a result, the growth of the direct-to-consumer genetic testing has recently slowed down significantly.
“Today we have presented our vision for privacy-focused personal genomics and with our launch of anonymous genetic testing we are taking a step towards turning this vision into reality,” said Dennis Grishin, Chief Scientific Officer at Nebula Genomics.
About Nebula Genomics
Nebula Genomics seeks to usher in the era of personal genomics by building a distributed platform that will accelerate genomic data generation, facilitate data access and streamline data analysis. The Nebula platform uses blockchain and privacy-preserving technologies to enable individuals to maintain control of their personal genomic data, share it securely and get compensated equitably. By incentivizing personal genome sequencing and genomic data sharing, Nebula Genomics will make large genomic datasets available to researchers which will help advance understanding of human genetics, accelerate drug discovery and streamline clinical trials. 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, GreatPoint Ventures, Hemi Ventures, and Mirae Asset. For more information, follow @NebulaGenomics on Twitter and Facebook or visit nebula.org.
Dennis Grishin, Nebula Genomics CSO