Franklin Lakes-based Medco announced today a competition that will award $10 million to the first team to design and build a rapid and inexpensive technology to accurately sequence the entire human genome.
The Archon Genomics X-Prize competition is designed to usher in a new era of personalized medicine that will transform the field of genetics. Medco is presenting the competition, but is not putting up the money toward the prize.
“The competition is aimed at encouraging companies to create this technology for use in clinical practice,” said Dr. Felix Frueh, president of Medco Research Institute. “We want an accurate genome sequence that can be done in 30 days for $1,000 or less.”
The competition runs through January 2013.
“At the end, I hope one of the companies participating can deliver a product with the characteristics that I described,” Frueh said. “There are probably a dozen or so companies today that develop this type of technology. We believe that in the next few years, having access to the entire genome will change the way we practice medicine.”
Medco Research Institute focuses on closing the gap between scientific discovery and medical practice, therefore improving patient outcomes and lowering health care costs. Medco, which has more than 20,000 employees worldwide, had 2010 revenue of $66 billion.