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Complete Genomics, ISB To Collaborate on Genome Studies; Firm Targets $5K Genome for 2009

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Institute for Systems Biology and third-generation sequencing company Complete Genomics announced today that they are collaborating on population-wide human genome studies.

During the first stage of this project, Complete Genomics will sequence five human genomes from samples provided by researchers at ISB.

Complete Genomics’ sequencing technology combines DNA nanotechnology, new ligation biochemistry, and ultra-high density arrays to do sequencing in solution with low reagent inputs.

The company said it plans to launch a sequencing services business in the second quarter of 2009 that will offer complete human genomes for $5,000.

Following a proof-of-concept stage, Complete Genomics and ISB will sequence a hundred human genomes in 2009 and 2,000 genomes in 2010. That represents ten percent of Complete Genomics’ expected overall 2009 and 2010 sequencing capacity.

“This $5,000 price point, combined with the scale of our sequencing center, will dramatically increase the availability and affordability of human genome sequencing,” said Clifford Reid, chairman, president and CEO of Complete Genomics, in a statement. “For the first time, our customers can conduct systematic studies of the genetic basis of disease and drug response. Our sequencing services will be one of the core enablers of the impending revolution in personalized medicine.”

In total, the company plans to sequence a thousand human genomes on between 64 and 96 sequencers next year. In 2010, it intends to sequence 20,000 more human genomes on 192 sequencers.

Complete Genomics, which announced its official launch this morning, has been operating in “stealth mode” since March 2006. The company and its partners plan to open additional sequencing centers in the US and abroad over the next five years. It estimates that ten such centers would be capable of sequencing a million human genomes.

ISB President Leroy Hood, a member of Complete Genomics’ scientific advisory board, expressed enthusiasm about the upcoming ISB-Complete Genomics collaboration.

“Using Complete Genomics human genome sequencing services to gather population-wide human genetic data will allow us to gain a more complete understanding of the genetic components and molecular processes of diseases in order to better manage, treat, and prevent human disease and better understand human health,” Hood said in a statement.

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