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Stratos Genomics Raises $4M in Series A Financing to Develop Low-Cost Sequencing Technology

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Startup Stratos Genomics said this week that it has closed a $4 million Series A financing round to continue to develop its low-cost sequencing method for whole-genome analysis and molecular diagnostics.

The funding round was led by Fisk Ventures and included Stratos Group.

Seattle-based Stratos Genomics, a 2007 spin-off from Stratos Group, is working on a new method called sequencing by expansion. According to the company, SBX is "a simple, elegant, single-molecule detection progress that circumvents the limitations of competing technologies, allowing accurate, ultra-low-cost whole-genome sequencing."

Earlier this year, the company won access to a microfabrication laboratory run by the Washington Technology Center for a proposal entitled "Nanopore Noise Reduction Project" (IS 1/12/2010). According to the WTC, the sequencing technology "creates, encodes, and measures surrogate molecules derived from DNA targets to produce DNA sequence information."

According to a patent application, No. 20090035777, that the company has filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, the Stratos technology first produces a "daughter strand" via template-directed synthesis that includes several subunits "coupled in a sequence corresponding to a contiguous nucleotide sequence of all or a portion of the target nucleic acid, wherein the individual subunits comprise a tether, at least one probe or nucleobase residue, and at least one selectively cleavable bond." Each bond is then cleaved to yield a so-called "Xpandomer" that comprises "the tethers and reporter elements for parsing genetic information in a sequence corresponding to the contiguous nucleotide sequence of all or a portion of the target nucleic acid."

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