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Hitting Sequencing Milestone with BAC, Solexa Says It s on Track to $100,000 Genome

NEW YORK, Oct. 19 (GenomeWeb News) - Solexa has used its Single-Molecule Array technology to sequence a human bacterial artificial chromosome -- an "important milestone" that bolsters the company's belief that it will "be the first to deliver whole human genome sequencing at $100,000 per genome," Solexa said yesterday in a statement.


In a presentation at the GSAC 2005 Genomes, Medicine and the Environment Conference in Hilton Head, SC, the company demonstrated that its reversible-terminator chemistry and Clonal Single-Molecule Array technology could be used to sequence a 162,000-basepair BAC from the HLA region -- proof that the platform can "achieve the data quality, read length and coverage uniformity required for economical and rapid resequencing of human DNA."


Using 25-basepair reads, Solexa said its scientists were able to align 90 percent of the BAC back to its own reference sequence, achieving greater than 99.99 percent consensus accuracy in the alignment. Solexa said it was also able to correctly call 100 percent of 153 polymorphisms in the regions.


The work was completed as a proof of concept using "an early laboratory prototype instrument," Solexa said.


Asked at the conference whether Solexa's decision to make this announcement was spurred by ABI's disclosure late last month that it is working on next-generation sequencing technology of its own, CEO John West told GenomeWeb News today that "it wasn't lost on anyone [at the conference] that ABI didn't ... present" at the meeting. ABI sponsored a luncheon symposium on Monday during which users of its sequencing technology "share[d] their experiences, techniques and methodologies." However, the company had no plenary presentation during the conference.


West, who used to run ABI's sequencing business before joining Solexa, said it's a "very capable" business, but said "it's just hard to know what they're doing" with new sequencing technologies.

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