First comes love, then comes marriage; then comes the genomic couple's report. Isn't that how the line goes?
Perhaps that's a how it will begin to go.
Today's guest is the founder of Orchid Health, which as of this week is offering the world’s first risk prediction couple’s report. Based on whole genome sequencing from a saliva sample that expectant parents take from home, the report will tell them their genetic risk for the major diseases, including brain, heart, cancer, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel.
Noor Saddiqui joins us today. Before founding Orchid, she taught reproductive technology at Stanford and did AI research at the Stanford AI Lab.
Orchid is already backordered for their couple’s report and is planning to offer embryo reports later in the year based on whole genome sequencing as well. The couple’s report could be considered an expanded version of carrier screening panels. The embryo reports might be thought of as expanded preimplantation screening.
“I think that people are very sympathetic to the idea of mitigating disease risk. People are on board with the idea of giving couples information to make an informed choice so they can have the healthiest child given their genetics,” says Noor. “What is rightfully more controversial is things like enhancements, or things like eye color. People are much less sympathetic to that, which is not about promoting the health of the child.”