Quest Diagnostics Launched NGS Engine to Power AncestryHealth

A new innovation in advanced genetic sequencing automation from Quest Diagnostics 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. 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.

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 with 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.”

AncestryHealth powered by NGS can achieve about 80-90 percent detection of inherited risk for specific health conditions.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.

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