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Complete Genomics Sequences Over 300 Human Genomes in Q3, Order Backlog Grows to 800

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By Julia Karow

This story was published Oct. 4.

Complete Genomics said this week that as of Sept. 30, it had sequenced 400 human genomes this year, including more than 300 in the third quarter.

According to an amended S-1 form filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, the company had an order backlog of more than 800 human genomes as of Sept. 30, an increase of 300 genomes since it filed for an initial public offering in late July (IS 8/3/2010).

Regarding its strategy, Complete Genomics added to the filing that it wants to "explore opportunities for strategic partnerships and collaborations with commercial and research organizations" in order to "further develop and expand the applications for our sequencing technology." The company did not elaborate.

The company also lowered — to $9 million from $10 million — its projection for revenue it expects to book before June 30, 2011. It did not explain the reason for the decrease.

In its filing, Complete Genomics also added a cautionary note regarding its ongoing patent lawsuit with Illumina.

In the suit, filed in August, Illumina claims that Complete's combinatorial probe anchor ligation technology infringes three of its patents (IS 8/10/2010). Complete Genomics, which filed its answer and counterclaims last month (see other story, this issue), said in the amended S-1 that if the district court finds it to infringe and issues an injunction, it "may be forced to redesign portions of our sequencing process, seek a license, or cease the infringing activity."

Such a redesign "may take substantial time and resources and may delay our ability to generate revenue," the company said, adding that a license "may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, if at all."

Complete Genomics also further specified how it plans to use the net proceeds from its IPO, in which it hopes to raise up to $86.25 million. As previously stated, between $20 million and $25 million will be used for capital expenditures to increase its sequencing and computing capacity in its Mountain View and Santa Clara facilities. In addition, the firm will use between $15 million and $25 million for developing its sequencing technology and services, and between $10 million and $15 million for sales and marketing activities. The remainder will go towards working capital and other general corporate purposes.

In an update of its R&D accomplishments, the company said that it has developed a long-fragment read technology that allows it to phase the two parental chromosomes and thus reduce the final sequence error rate by one to two orders of magnitude. The company has previously described an outline of this technology, which involves diluting large genomic DNA fragments during library preparation so that DNA from the same chromosome is unlikely to be present in the same sample (IS 11/12/2008).

As of Sept. 30, Complete Genomics had 167 employees — four more than at the beginning of the month. Among these employees are 49 with PhDs and 66 who are engaged full-time in R&D.

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