This review is written with the intent to be as unbiased as possible. However, it represents the opinion of an individual reviewer and is therefore subjective. Furthermore, at Nebula Genomics we seek to educate the public about the benefits of Whole Genome Sequencing. Information about our Whole Genome Sequencing DNA test is therefore incorporated into the review.
December 20, 2021
Table of contents
- 7 Facts from our Veritas Genetics Review
- Veritas Introduction
- Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS)
- Taking the Veritas Genetics Test
- Products and Veritas Genetics Cost
- Review of Veritas Genetics Reporting
- Access to Raw Genetic Data
- Review of Veritas Genetics Privacy
- Veritas Genetics in the News
- Awards and Recognition
- Other Veritas Genetics Reviews
- Pros and Cons
- Nebula Genomics
Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.
7 Facts from our Veritas Genetics Review
- Location: Danvers, MA, USA
- Products: 30x whole genome sequencing
- Reporting: focus on disease risks and carrier screenings
- Ordering: requires a physician prescription
- Raw data download: VCF files available for $99 upon request
- Cost: $599
- Alternative product: Nebula Genomics (Whole Genome Sequencing with regularly updated reports, data exploration tools, and advanced ancestry reporting)
Veritas Genetics is a personal genomics company that offers whole genome sequencing. The company was founded in 2014 by George Church, CEO Mirza Cifric, Preston Estep, and Jonathan Zhao. Its goal is to empower people to live healthier, longer lives by driving accessibility to genomics across the globe.
Veritas Genetics was the first company to offer affordable personal genome sequencing to consumers and patients for less than $1000. It started as a personal genome project spun out of Harvard Medical School. The company is headquartered in Danvers, Massachusetts, in the United States, including corporate offices in Europe and China. Read more in our Veritas Genetics review!
Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS)
Veritas Genetics offers whole-genome DNA sequencing services. This is the gold standard for DNA testing because it reads the entire 6.4 billion bases long human genome. It decodes almost 100% of the DNA while other technologies analyze less than 1% of the genome.
The Human Genome Project was completed in 2003. Since then, the cost of whole genome sequencing has decreased from billions of dollars to less than $1000. This has enabled the development of a personal genetic sequencing industry. As a result, there has been a significant advancement to the whole consumer genomics that has so far relied on much less comprehensive tests.
Taking the Veritas Genetics Test
The flagship product of this company is myGenome, a whole genome sequencing and interpretation service.
Veritas Genetics requires a doctor to complete an authorization for the assessment of results. This helps customers make well-informed decisions on lifestyle changes, etc. In the absence of a physician, the company partners with third-party physicians. These physicians can sign-off the results for a fee.
After customers order the test, the Veritas kit comes in a box with instructions for sample collection and a container for easy and safe storage. It requires a saliva sample from which the DNA is extracted and sequenced. Refraining from food, drinks, and brushing for at least 30 minutes is recommended before sample collection. Once the sample has been collected, it can be mailed to the company’s CLIA-certified laboratory for analysis.
The results are made available to the consumer within 16 weeks, although the company says the wait is typically closer to 12 weeks. During this period of waiting, the customer can follow the status of the sample on their account portal. The report is made available to the authorized physician 72 hours prior. This allows the doctor to ease the discussion of any sensitive information.
Alongside the report, the company also offers a complimentary 15-20 minute session with a genetic counselor. This is particularly important for customers with specific findings in their report, marked in red.
Products and Veritas Genetics Cost
The customer can choose from three different expert interpretation services: standard, premium, and diagnostic.
The standard Veritas genetic testing service caters to consumers interested in health testing and who want to learn more about their risks. It includes information about drug sensitivities, over 40 carrier conditions, and over 200 genetic diseases. This DNA test is available for $599.
The company is currently not accepting new orders for the following advanced services as of December 2021. Potential customers can check the company website for updates.
The premium service includes all the standard testing. Additionally, it provides more information on hereditary cancer (e.g. breast cancer), cardiovascular risks, and carrier conditions. This includes over 650 disorders and over 225 carrier conditions. This genetic test was available for $1,599.
Interested in genetic testing for hereditary cancer? You may be interested in these posts:
The diagnostic service catered to patients with a complex medical history who want to learn about underlying genetic causes. This may provide patients with medical management options or help with treatment decisions. The cost of this service ranges from $2,599 to $3,599.
Veritas Genetics customers can also purchase an additional hour-long genetic counseling session for $299.
You may be able to access more affordable consultations through other companies like Genome Medical.
Review of Veritas Genetics Reporting
Veritas Genetics reporting provides information about risks for health conditions, disease carrier status and pharmacogenomics.
The Veritas test report can be accessed from the dashboard of an online account. It can also be downloaded as a PDF file. The clinical section outlines the results associated with disease risks organized into the following categories.
- Cancer Susceptibility
- Cardiovascular Diseases
- Clotting Disorders
- Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders
- Immune Disorders
- Mitochondrial Conditions & Inheritance
- Neurological disorders
- Organ Health
A complete list of all analyzed genetic variants and diseases can be found on its website. The findings are classified according to their potential impact on health.
The carrier section of the DNA report shows conditions that may be passed on to children. The pharmacogenomics section indicates if there are genetic factors that may influence response to certain medications.
Finally, there is a trait section that is organized into 12 categories. These include athleticism, nutrition, and more. An ancestry section is available as well.
To aid with the interpretation of the genetic data, Veritas uses machine learning and artificial intelligence. This has also helped with lowering the cost of the tests. It has also developed an open-source platform, Arvados, for storing and analyzing genomic data. It currently exceeds 20 petabytes and is used globally by pharmaceutical companies and research institutions.
Access to Raw Genetic Data
A user’s raw DNA data can also be requested, though it is not free and immediately available. Access to VCF files costs $99 and takes 5-7 days to process and electronically deliver. The order can be placed by contacting Customer Support.
Review of Veritas Genetics Privacy
The information collected by Veritas Genetics includes name, ZIP code, phone number, email address, genetic information, and data from physicians. All this data is stored on a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant cloud service.
Veritas does not share the data with third parties without permission. It will share information only if required by the law and for the purpose of completing transactions for you.
This data is encrypted and stored in restricted access controlled servers. However, Veritas cannot provide a warranty of the security of any information you enter to the site.
Veritas Genetics in the News
In 2016, Veritas Genetics became the first company to offer whole genome sequencing for less than $1000. In July 2019, it set a record by offering whole genome sequencing for only $599, albeit for a limited time. One thousand genetic tests were sold in under 24 hours.
In November 2019, Veritas Genetics confirmed a data breach that resulted in the exposure of some customer information. Bloomberg was the first medium to report it. The company claimed that no data was “stolen” but provided no evidence for it.
In December 2019, Veritas Genetics announced that it would temporarily suspend operations in the United States and began talks with potential buyers. The company continued to serve customers in Europe and Latin America through its active locations in Madrid and Shanghai.
In January 2020, it announced the reopening of its U.S. services after some restructuring of its business. Moving forward, Veritas will be focusing on its diagnostic offering.
Awards and Recognition
Other Veritas Genetics Reviews
It should be noted that Veritas ceased operations in the U.S. in 2019. Thus, reviews of the service will date back to 2018 or earlier.
See what people are asking on Reddit. Here, people have discussed things like the reliability of the test and whether products included interpretation of the results.
There was also some engagement on Twitter through the #VeritasGenetics hashtag.
As a company, Veritas Genetics has mostly positive reviews. However, some users mention the delay in getting their reports.
Pros and Cons
- Provides actionable insights into users’ health
- Whole genome sequencing
- Easy sample collection at home
- Samples processed in CLIA-certified labs
- Genetic counseling
- Global customer support
- Expensive compared to other services like 23andMe and AncestryDNA
- Some customers have reported delays receiving their reports
- Raw data only available upon request for an additional fee
Veritas was the pioneer of affordable genome sequencing tests. However, additional fees for items such as raw DNA data access and more in-depth interpretation start to increase the price. The analysis also must be ordered by a license physician, who will then interpret the results.
As genome sequencing has become even more accessible, Nebula Genomics now offers the most affordable sequencing of your entire genome, costing between $0 and $299. Nebula Genomics does not require a doctor’s order and can be ordered directly from a customer’s home. However, our whole genome sequencing data is of the highest quality and can be used by physicians and genetic counselors.
Here’s a comparison between Veritas Genetics, Nebula Genomics, and other popular DNA testing companies.
|23andMe||AncestryDNA||Veritas Genetics||Nebula Genomics|
|Technology||Genotyping||Genotyping||30X whole genome sequencing||30X whole genome sequencing|
|Free DNA data upload||No||No||No||Yes|
|Raw DNA data access||Yes (free)||Yes (free)||Yes ($99)||Yes (free)|
|Genetic Counseling||No||No||Yes (15-20 minute session included)||No, but CLIA-certified lab data can be used in consultation with genetic counselors and medical providers|
|Focus on Privacy||No||No||Yes||Yes (learn more)|
|Cost||$99 or $199||$99 or $119||$599||$0, $99, $299|
Veritas Genetics pioneered personal genome sequencing. It has created a path that other similar genetic testing companies focusing on genome sequencing, including Nebula Genomics, have since followed. With its new focus on diagnostic genetic testing, it is an option that patients should consider.
If you’re interested in learning about how your genes may influence hereditary conditions, you may also be interested in these alternative clinical genetic testing companies.
Diagnostics and disease risks:
- Ambry Genetics (risks of various disease types)
- Color (risks of cancer, genetic forms of heart disease, and medication responses)
- Fulgent Genetics (comprehensive diagnostic company)
- GeneDx (wide variety of clinical genomic tests)
- Map My Gene (innate talents for children and disease risks)
- myDNA (personalized fitness, diet, and medication plans)
- Oral DNA Labs (specialized diagnostic tool for oral health)
- Parsley Health (holistic medicine and health plans)
- Pathway Genomics (DNA tests for various health aspects, may be used in consultation with medical providers)
Includes carrier status:
- Integrated Genetics (pre- and post-pregnancy tests)
- Invitae (diagnostics, proactive health, and reproductive health)
- Myriad Genetics (diagnostics, reproductive tests, and precision medicine tests)
- Sema4 (oncology, women’s health, carrier screening, and hereditary cancer)
- GeneSight (clinical genomic test for psychotropics)
- Genomind (pharmacogenomic testing for mental health treatment)
Tumor genetics for personalized treatment:
- Decipher Biosciences (tumor genetics for urologic cancers)
- Foundation Medicine (genetic analysis on solid tumors)
- Natera (circulating DNA for hereditary cancer and other diagnoses)
- Tempus (oncology, mental health, and infectious disease treatment)
To learn more about whole genome sequencing you should check out
- 24Genetics (whole genome sequencing)
- Color (low coverage whole genome sequencing available)
- Dante Labs (30x whole genome sequencing, most reports are available at an additional cost)
- Full Genomes (upload data and DNA test for comprehensive report)
- Mapmygenome (only available in India)
- PerkinElmer Genomics (WES, WGS, newborn screening, and more)
- Sequencing.com (whole genome sequencing)
- YSEQ (30x whole genome sequencing)
Or would you like to contribute to genomic research but be compensated? Check our our Luna DNA review!
For reviews of more DNA testing companies take a look at our blog and see our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests for a comprehensive review.