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Complete Genomics Delays Start of Commercial Operations to Q2; Cuts Target to 5,000 Genomes in 2010

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By Julia Karow

This story was originally published on January 14, 2010.

Complete Genomics has delayed the start of its commercial operations by about three months and, as a result, has cut in half the number of human genomes it plans to sequence this year.

The reason for the delay is the installation of its commercial sequencing instruments, which is apparently happening more slowly than originally expected.

The sequencers, which are proprietary to the company, are coming online throughout the first quarter, "and we decided to declare commercial availability when they are all up and running," Complete Genomics CEO Cliff Reid told In Sequence by e-mail last week.

The company's genome center will be "fully operational and running at capacity" at the beginning of April, he said, at which point Complete Genomics expects to be able to sequence 10,000 genomes over the following 12 months. As a result, the company's new goal for 2010 is to sequence 5,000 human genomes.

As of last December, the company had said it was planning to sequence 10,000 human genomes in 2010 (see In Sequence 12/8/2009), a number it had already reduced from 20,000 earlier in the year after its Series D fundraising was delayed. In 2009, the company sequenced 50 human genomes in total.

In the meantime, Complete Genomics has booked several orders for large-scale sequencing projects that comprise up to several hundred human genomes. In November, for example, the company disclosed that it will sequence 100 human genomes for the Institute for Systems Biology (see In Sequence 11/3/2009). The company plans to provide more details on these large-scale projects later this month.

Complete Genomics also has ongoing discussions for projects to sequence "in the thousands" of genomes, according to a company spokesperson.

The firm plans to provide further details about its commercial launch, as well as a roadmap for applications it wants to launch this year and beyond, at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology conference next month.

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