he genomics pioneer who sequenced the human genome carved out a new niche just over a year ago, selling exhaustive $25,000 medical workups to apparently healthy people. Now Craig Venter’s trying to take one small piece of that business to a much wider audience — and to prove it’s worthwhile.
An early step in that direction came this month, when Venter’s company Human Longevity struck a deal with a life insurer to boost its $2,500 whole genome analysis product. For a discounted $1,400, customers and employees of the life insurer, MassMutual, can get every inch of their DNA scoured and then interpreted for what it means for their disease risk. It’s a way to “turn risks into opportunities to outsmart the diseases that may lie in your future,” Human Longevity’s website says of the product.