Is the $1000 Genome as Near as We Think? A Cost Analysis of Next-Generation Sequencing

Kirsten J. M. van Ninnwegen*, Ronald A. van Soest, Joris A. Veltman, Marcell R. Nelen, Gert Jan van der Wilt, Lisenka E. L. M. Vissers, Janneke P. C. Grutters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: The substantial technological advancements in next-generation sequencing (NGS), combined with dropping costs, have allowed for a swift diffusion of NGS applications in clinical settings. Although several commercial parties report to have broken the $1000 barrier for sequencing an entire human genome, a valid cost overview for NGS is currently lacking. This study provides a complete, transparent and up-to-date overview of the total costs of different NGS applications. METHODS: Cost calculations for targeted gene panels (TGP), whole exome sequencing (WES) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) were based on the Illumina NextSeq500, HiSeq4000, and HiSeqX5 platforms, respectively. To anticipate future developments, sensitivity analyses are performed. RESULTS: Per-sample costs were (sic)1669 for WGS, (sic)792 for WES and (sic)333 for TGP. To reach the coveted $1000 genome, not only is the long-term and efficient use of the sequencing equipment needed, but also large reductions in capital costs and especially consumable costs are also required. CONCLUSIONS: WES and TGP are considerably lower cost alternatives to WGS. However, this does not imply that these NGS approaches should be preferred in clinical practice, since this should be based on the tradeoff between costs and the expected clinical utility of the approach chosen. The results of the present study contribute to the evaluation of such tradeoffs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1458-1464
JournalClinical Chemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Is the $1000 Genome as Near as We Think? A Cost Analysis of Next-Generation Sequencing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this