Many groups rushed into the next-generation sequencing game over the past decade, so it's unsurprising to see news about some thinning of the genomics herd. Halcyon Molecular has shut down after other groups leapt ahead in bringing to market new technologies for decoding DNA quickly and inexpensively, GigaOm reported, citing unnamed sources.
Halcyon Molecular emerged about four years ago with a heady plan to drive down the price of sequencing a genome--which at that point cost well north of $100,000--to south of $100 and to deliver results in less than 10 minutes, according to the tech news site's article. Founded by brothers William and Michael Andregg, the startup also scored venture investments from heavy hitters such as tech tycoon Peter Thiel's Founders Fund and serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, and Bio-IT World notes that Harvard genomics standout George Church served as an adviser.
Signs of trouble cropped up for the Redwood City, CA-based upstart early this year, when rival Oxford Nanopore of the U.K. dazzled the genomics world with its portable sequencer that decodes samples for a bargain price of $900. Halcyon's electron microscope-based method had yet to deliver on the original vision, and other outfits in the genomics field such as Knome had already shifted their focus from the cost of decoding genomes to the challenges of managing and analyzing next-generation sequencing data.
Drop us a comment below with any additional information on the status of Halcyon or other sequencing startups that might have hit a funding wall. There are likely others. We're not naming names at this point, but at least a couple have gone eerily quiet in recent years.
- see GigaOm's item
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