Sema4, an interdisciplinary health information company, has partnered with Helix, a personal genomics company, to launch CarrierCheck — a simple, saliva-based test that screens for 67 conditions, including sickle cell disease (SCD).
The test may provide individuals with a snapshot of how their DNA may affect their future children or it may increase their awareness of their own genetic history.
Sema4 and Helix company officials said they are happy to be able to give people the opportunity to improve their lives through DNA testing using CarrierCheck, which is available online.
CarrierCheck is available for $199 plus a one-time $80 fee for the Helix DNA kit for new customers. Consumers need to get sequenced once to access CarrierCheck and other services that Helix offers, including DNA-informed fitness guidance, nutritional guidance, advice for planning a family and more.
Those who want to purchase CarrierCheck can order it online at www.helix.com and create an account with a brief health history questionnaire on the Sema4 website. A physician from Sema4 will review your health history to ensure CarrierCheck is appropriate for you and, once approved, a saliva collection kit is mailed to your home.
After receiving your saliva sample, researchers at Helix’s lab sequence your DNA and store it for testing. The genetic information that is relevant to your CarrierCheck is delivered back to Sema4 for analysis and then your results are communicated to you.
You can track and view your personalized CarrierCheck report through the entire process via your online Sema4 account. Genetic counseling services are also available to help you understand your report.
“Sema4 and Helix are perfectly aligned in their missions to help consumers gain greater access and understanding of their personal genomic data,” Eric Schadt, PhD, the CEO of Sema4, said in a press release. “We are excited to launch CarrierCheck, our first product on the Helix platform, to empower consumers with the understanding of their own DNA and gain insights useful to their future family planning.”
Justin Kao, co-founder and senior vice president of Helix, said Helix has been working with Sema4 “since before their spinout from Mount Sinai, and we are proud to be working with a partner that is committed to pairing clinical-grade interpretation with our high-quality sequencing.”
“Carrier screening is one of the most well-known and sought-after types of DNA tests, and we are proud to feature CarrierCheck in our marketplace to provide people with an accessible carrier screen that also offers genetic counseling support,” Kao said.