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Complete Genomics Delivers 14 Human Genomes; Pfizer Among Customers

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The headline of this article has been changed to clarify that not all customers have received data yet.

By Julia Karow

Complete Genomics said this week that it has sequenced, analyzed, and delivered 14 human genomes to early-access customers since March. It has also sequenced a single genome for Harvard's Personal Genome Project.

The company said it currently has more than a dozen customers, including Pfizer, the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology, Duke University, Brigham & Women's Hospital, the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, in addition to the Institute for Systems Biology and the Broad Institute, which Complete announced previously.

Complete Genomics is conducting pilot projects for these customers, each comprised of five to 10 genomes, giving them an opportunity to evaluate the company's human genome sequencing service.

The pilot projects include disease studies in the areas of melanoma; breast, lung, and colorectal cancer; HIV; and schizophrenia. Complete Genomics said previously that its charges approximately $20,000 per genome for the pilot projects. The firm is targeting a price of $5,000 per genome for the commercial launch of the service, which is slated for January 2010.

Complete Genomics also sequenced a single human genome for the Personal Genome Project, a research study led by Harvard Medical School. George Church, principal investigator of the PGP and a member of Complete Genomics' scientific advisory board, said in a statement issued by the firm that his team has cross-validated the data set it obtained for the genome, including a list of variants, to gauge the technology's accuracy.

"I am pleased with the quality of the data provided," he said. "Complete Genomics’ technology can clearly deliver high quality genomic data, which compare favorably with other published results, and at a low cost. I look forward to continuing to work with the company as it scales up the process to sequence thousands of genomes next year.”

Complete Genomics plans to launch its human genome sequencing service commercially in January 2010 and to sequence 10,000 genomes next year. Last month, it raised $45 million in private equity from a Series D funding (see In Sequence 8/25/2009).

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