NewGene, a UK-based molecular diagnostics startup, could soon be one of the first European laboratories to provide clinical genetic tests on 454's sequencing platform.

Toward the end of this year or in early 2010, the Newcastle upon Tyne-based company plans to offer the UK's National Health Service and other clients full-gene sequencing tests for several genetic conditions using Roche's 454 Genome Sequencer FLX. It expects to offer these tests at a lower cost and with a faster turnaround than existing providers using Sanger sequencing, NewGene said.

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