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Complete Genomics Completes $39M Financing amid IPO Plans

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Complete Genomics today announced that it has closed a Series E round of financing, raising proceeds of $39 million.

Less than a month ago, the Mountain View, Calif.-based sequencing services firm filed for an initial public offering in the US, with plans to raise as much as $86.3 million. In the preliminary prospectus for the offering, Complete Genomics said that it would use proceeds from the offering to finance further development and commercialization of its technology, sales and marketing activities, capital expenditures to expand its facilities and operations, and working capital and other general corporate purposes.

The Series E round of financing was led by Sands Capital, a new investor in the firm. Existing investors including Essex Woodlands, OVP Venture Partners, Prospect Venture Partners, OrbiMed Advisors, Highland Capital Management, and Enterprise Partners.

In addition to announcing the financing, Complete Genomics also said that it is evaluating a recent lawsuit filed against the firm by Illumina for alleged patent infringement. Illumina filed the suit two weeks ago, claiming that Complete Genomics' sequencing platform and services infringe US Patent Nos. 6,306,597; 7,232,656; and 7,598,035. The patents cover DNA sequencing by parallel oligonucleotide extensions, the use of arrayed biomolecules in sequencing, and methods and compositions for ordering restriction fragments.

"We cannot guarantee any particular outcome, as with any litigation, but we believe that we have substantial and meritorious defenses to the claims and intend to vigorously defend against this lawsuit," Complete Genomics Chairman, President, and CEO Cliff Reid said in a statement.

He noted that two of the patents have been put into re-examination at the US Patent Office, and all of the claims have been initially rejected and await further review. In addition, he said that the third patent had been subject to re-examination. Though the USPTO upheld the validity of an independent method claim in that patent, a Federal Circuit subsequently affirmed a District Court Order that the independent method claim in that patent is invalid under the District Court's claim construction, Reid added.