Good Start Genetics has announced the launch of VeriYou, a new saliva-based screening test for cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy.

The screening kit is available for order on the company’s website, for a cost of about $150, and results — with a technical accuracy of 99.9 percent — are available in about two weeks, Good Start Genetics noted. The site includes detailed instructions on how to collect a saliva sample.

According to a company press release, one in every 19 people (or 5.3 percent) worldwide carries a CF or SMA mutation that could be passed to their children. For this reason, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends women of reproductive age undergo screening for CF, and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) advises it for both diseases.

“At Good Start Genetics, we believe that genetic testing should play a more significant role in preventive care and be accessible to all who need it, not just those with the highest incomes or the broadest insurance coverage,” said Jeffrey R. Luber, its president and chief executive officer.

The kit can be requested by a prospective parent, who must first submit required information (like medical history and consent forms). A licensed physician then reviews the application and orders the test, if considered appropriate. Confidential results are delivered online along with further educational information, and the process is interactive, so that people ask follow-up questions directly to physicians and connect with genetic counselors.

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