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Helicos Makes Sequencing Tech Available to Small Group of Early Access Labs

NEW YORK, Jan. 11 (GenomeWeb News) - Helicos BioSciences said today that its True Single Molecule Sequencing technology is now in early access.


Helicos CEO Stanley Lapidus said in a statement that the tSMS technology will be made available to a "small group of innovative research partners." The partners "may publish their findings from utilizing tSMS technologies as well as present at scientific conferences," Helicos said.


The Cambridge, Mass.-based sequencing shop did not name any of its early access partners, but Institute for Systems Biology President Lee Hood told GenomeWeb News in August that ISB was "talking about testing" one of Helicos BioSciences' gene-sequencing prototypes.

One Helicos partner is Eric Lander, and the company had expected to ship an instrument to Lander's lab by the end of the year, according to Genome Technology, a GenomeWeb News sister publication. Interestingly, the Broad Center, which Lander oversees, bought a 454 platform last March.


As of last July, Helicos expected to have beta instruments out this year and a commercial system available in 2007, Genome Technology reported at the time.


The tSMS technology relies on cyclic sequencing by synthesis, using 1.2 billion strands of DNA attached to a quartz slide to create a parallel process. The company claims tSMS enables researchers to sequence individual molecules of DNA by directly interrogating single molecules.

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