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Feeling the Heat, Solexa Plans to Launch Sequencing Platform by End of Year

NEW YORK, Aug. 30 (GenomeWeb News) - Solexa plans to launch its sequencing-by-synthesis instrument by the end of the year, according to a company official.


The company anticipates that it will begin generating revenue from the technology in 2006, David Bentley, Solexa's newly appointed chief scientist, told GenomeWeb News sister publication Genome Technology this week.


The technology is currently entering alpha production, which means that labs could be paid for the insights they offer the company. According to Bentley, "enthusiastic" alpha collaborators include Jane Rogers at the Sanger Center, Rob Mitchell and Eric Landerat the Broad, Rick Wilsonand Elaine Mardis at WashingtonUniversity, and Rob Waterston at the Universityof Washington.


Bentley's decision to discuss his technology at this stage rather than sit tight and wait for beta testers reflects the increasingly frothy environment in which next-generation gene-sequencing developers currently find themselves.


As emerging sequencing companies grapple for traction, obtaining government funding, such as the $70-million bag of cash dangled by the National Human Genome Research, becomes a critical goal. Hungry for a pinch of this money, and eager to land lucrative beta partners and eventually revenue-generating customers, start-ups hope that well-known academics will take notice and help fine-tune their platforms.


Bentley's disclosure comes days after Lee Hood shared his views about Solexa rival Helicos and Waterston praised Solexa and Helicos competitor 454.

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