The foreigners refused gene sequencing due to privacy, “Nebula” to the market through the open chain block

The gene sequencing market to explore the blockchain landing one of the scene. The daily planet Odaily previously reported Healio, recently, we are exposed to the same from the United States Nebula gene sequencing team, this project is one of the most dazzling, the co-founder of synthetic biology (Synthetic Biology) as the father of George Church.

Church is the Harvard University School of Medicine (Harvard Medical School) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Professor, in 1984 developed the world’s first direct genomic sequencing technology. He once said: “everyone should be sequenced in their genome, to know yourself, understand yourself.”

The wind blows the consumer market gene sequencing

The reality is far from here, but this is near.

Once the gene sequencing technology that is very expensive, cost reduction, also let people more affordable.

Prospective research institute report shows that currently the most widely used sequencing technology is high-throughput sequencing (High-Throughput Sequencing), also known as the two generation sequencing (Next Generation Sequencing), than the traditional Sanger (Sanger Sequencing) high speed and low cost. BGISEQ, Illumina series of foreign domestic BGI’s HiSeq series and LifeTechnologies IonTorrent series are the two generation technology. The United States PacificBiosciences developed the third generation sequencing system PacBioRSII, but the practice is short.

Update and cost of gene sequencing technology fell open new markets, many research institutions expected the market will continue to grow, research organization estimates 2017-2022 years of global gene sequencing market growth will exceed 20%, a conservative estimate to the size of the global gene sequencing market in 2022 will exceed $20 billion.

According to the analysis I had China gene prospectus, gene sequencing scenarios include to C (1) reproductive health research and application, to researchers (2) bioinformatics analysis of genomic solutions and (3) for detecting report on tumor pathogenesis complex report, (4) to based on the service of drug pharmaceutical and clinical application. It is worth noting that the to C service in the main business revenue in the proportion increased gradually, become the main source of revenue for the company.

The consumer market started. In recent years, there are some domestic direct to C gene sequencing company, such as all genes and genes of jellyfish. But in the amount of China penetration gene sequencing still needs to be improved.

Gene sequencing industry pain points

Interestingly, the Nebula CEO Kamal Obbad Odaily told the daily planet, China is the most mature individual gene sequencing market. He said that globally, gene sequencing data is the lack of. The industry’s biggest problem is the sample is too small, not enough to achieve the research value. Therefore, many research institutions and pharmaceutical companies to do clinical research, is recruiting volunteers and genetic samples, took 70% of the R & D funds.

In second, the global data was scarce, in Europe and the United States, many consumers worry about genes and medical and other related data disclosure of its own and refuse to do the gene sequencing.

Thirdly, data supervision problem. Based on the same privacy law, gene sequencing data research institutions and pharmaceutical companies to obtain the difficult, privacy protection regulations such as the EU; in addition, in Chinese, cross-border consumer genetic data can not.

Nebula attempts to establish a genetic data platform using the block chain technology, to solve the above problems.

Privacy protection: Kamal said, using a private key authorization mechanism in block chain network, only the user can control your genes. “You can put your own data to others, we do not store your data. The user can store the data in your computer, can also go to the center of public storage network.” If there are other application developers want to use your data, you can give them the authorization.

Insufficient sample: Kamal established an economic mechanism, through financial incentives, so that ordinary people are more willing to share their data or do gene sequencing. For example, you can register on our platform, expressed a willingness to share data, will have the relevant research institutions to find you, hope to do the gene sequencing for you.

Data acquisition difficult: “we allow researchers to more easily use gene sequencing data, but do not worry about regulatory issues.” The Nebula platform is provided with a series of agreements, so researchers and pharmaceutical companies in the use of the process to meet compliance countries. For example, researchers can not download the original genetic data needs, they can calculate the existing directly in the Nebula network data, but the model is not known, it is to avoid the risk of leakage model. Only the transaction data in the network is publicly available, to ensure both parties shall have the right to obtain.

How to block chain gene sequencing platform promotion?

Nebula token, the profit model including appreciation fees and direct sales service fee. If the platform is built in the future, all the parties in this industry can provide service at present and each one takes what he needs, Nebula is the first service provider. In the accumulation of a large number of gene sequencing data, developers can be based on this expansion of many applications, such as many people now according to the recommended skincare regimen for gene and etc..

Similar to many industry chain block + story, Nebula’s story is very beautiful. Block chain industry ecosystem (or called “distributed business ecosystem”) is essentially a replacement intermediary platform, business model can run through the supply and demand is getting enough of both sides gathered on the platform. Kamal just talked about, in a state of shortage of data in industry, so the company will focus on the supply side in the early stage, also is the accumulation of C end users, mainly aimed at the people will be the following three categories:

The first is to do gene sequencing, but very concerned about privacy. “This is our most valued people.”

The second is a rare disease, this type of data is more difficult to obtain and is particularly useful for rare disease drug development, so more valuable; also rare disease patients themselves want to be cured. Nebula and related non-profit organizations can obtain more accurate sample.

The three category is non developed areas and non sample of young people. “We want to enrich the sample, many data are obtained from Europe’s young people, it is not conducive to do research. We hope that these data can become rich.”

Unlike the Chinese, Kamal said to the clinic or hospital channel cooperation is not much. “Many physicians are not willing to let the patient to do whole genome sequencing, because they can not help to treatment, and tell you the probability of getting a disease will increase will scare users. The doctor is not willing to spend time to explain.”

A large number of existing data in the hands of the traditional gene sequencing leading enterprises, they are also the biggest “sequencing data wholesaler, directly give up this part of the data is too bad. Kamal said that these data holders can access the Nebula database, if there are Nebula registered users of the data, the user can access to authorized users of existing data.

Nebula is still in the early days, began offering $99 gene sequencing services to the user a few weeks ago, and gene sequencing data for the chain. Kamal data is given to thousands of users, the service area mainly in the United States, will be released in Europe and Asia etc.. When it comes to this going back to Professor Church project highlights, is now the chief BD Nebula. The academic reputation, the professor has certain resources and contacts accumulated in the industry, is conducive to the project started.

Kamal Nebula is expected to be released in the network revealed that next year, the second half of next year, other application developers can develop applications on the network. When Odaily asked the daily planet chain chain alliance or the public, he said that Nebula is mixed: everyone can join the network when the computing nodes (computing resources available), but only data nodes can access to data and through the transaction. The data of nodes by non-profit organizations and research institutions for drug development, corporate profit organizations without permission.

The Nebula team is currently about 12 people, including 8 technical personnel; prior to the completion of the 430 million seed round of financing. Co founder and CEO Kamal Obbad graduated from Harvard University, from University of Cambridge School of computer science school, served as Google product manager, selected YC Fellowship.


I’m Odaily the daily planet editor Lu Xiaoming, exploring the real exchange block chain, broke the news, please add lohiuming, please note Name, unit, position and reason.

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