Released this week as a product and a service that uses either catalog or custom arrays, HybSelect initially targets users of the Illumina Genome Analyzer who want to sequence up to 9.5 megabases of genomic DNA.
The partners are deciding whether to run the multiplex test on a microarray or a sequencing platform. Factors in the decision include the complexity of the test and the technical feasibility of multiplexed, targeted resequencing.
Both the project and the service are designed to offer cancer patients detailed information about their tumor at a timescale that can help their physicians tailor treatments. However, some experts say the results will not benefit many patients today.
LCS has entered a market varyingly referred to as sequence capture, target enrichment, and sequence enrichment. While the firms playing in this application area cannot agree on a name for it, they all agree that the market has the potential to become, in LCS' words, "very large."
The firm will use the undisclosed amount to optimize the protocols for its genomic-selection application and to start building a sales and marketing force that "will become more visible in the second half of this year," CEO Fred Dom said.
The company claims that compared to other targeted sequence-enrichment methods, its approach leads to more uniform coverage, or less enrichment bias. RainDance said it plans to offer up to 4,000 amplifications in a single tube later this year.
Both companies are offering users of second-generation sequencing systems new tools to select portions of the genome for targeted resequencing but have optimized their products for different sequencing platforms.