GENOMICS Inc. said it is set to establish the very first business to consumer genomics facility in the country and in Asia and may launch the hub next year.
“We hope to launch this next year, probably mid-next year. It does take time to build a facility and to test it and to make sure we get all the regulations all in line. Our goal here is to save lives. Our goal here is to introduce technology to better diagnose so our doctors can properly treat us,” said Hector Thomas Navasero, Genomics president.
Genomics is the study of the processes and the broad structure of all the genes of an organism and their relationship with each other to determine its effect on the organism’s development.
He said Genomics Inc. has been building its capacity in the last four years through his not-for-profit organization Genomic Institute of Asia (GINA). GINA is a facility dedicated to his mother, a breast cancer survivor whose treatment was aided by genetic sequencing.
“We were the first to complete the first Filipino human genome here in the Philippines and we basically are now setting up a facility to sequence the whole genome,” he said.
Genomics utilizes this information and tracks down potential health threats a person was predisposed to because of hereditary traits. Through genomic sequencing, a map of the person’s genome will be produced, which can guide doctors on how to prevent disease from developing or administer a cure before it gets worse.
Recently, Genomics Inc. purchased 67-percent stake in Alterra Capital Partners Inc. to realize its vision to become a genome sequencing provider, offering genomic services to ordinary Filipinos and to the rest of Asia and eventually the world.
Genomics’ goal is to provide whole genome sequencing services. Utilizing the skilled English speaking scientists of the Philippines, the company will have the talented human resources it requires to operate such a massive facility.
The goal of the facility is to provide a capacity of 18,000 whole genome sequences that can then be confidentially shared with medical researchers.
Genomics Inc. will be investing in the leading sequencing platform used by scientists from all over the world, Illumina.
The Illumina HiSeq X-Ten utilizes the process of reacting select chemicals in order to release a specific energy, and converts it into light or fluorescence during the sequencing process. The light emitted is then captured by a device within the machine that converts the light to a signal that can be translated into biological information.