Complete Genomics maps plans for $86M IPO

One of the challengers in the race to revolutionize the field of gene sequencing with a low-cost set of lab tools has mapped out an $86.25 million IPO to test investors' appetite for the new technology.

Mountain View, CA-based Complete Genomics plans to offer developers genome sequencing for less than $1,000, a price that would make the assembly-line technology available to virtually anyone looking to use it in development programs. As of last May, points out the San Jose Mercury News, Complete Genomics was providing sequencing for about $4,000 for each genome.

Citing SEC documents, GenomeWeb reports that the company says it has sequenced 200 complete genomes so far this year, with 100 sequenced in the first three weeks of July. The company reports a backlog of 500 genomes for sequencing and expects to hit a rate of 400 genomes a month by the end of this year.

"Because our technology resides only in our centralized facilities," boasts the company, which has never been shy of tooting its own horn, "we can quickly and easily implement enhancements and provide their benefits to our entire customer base. We believe that we will be the first company to sequence and analyze high-quality complete human genomes, at scale, for a total cost of under $1,000 per genome."

UBS, Baird, Jefferies & Co. and Cowen & Co. are underwriting the offering. It should be interesting to see how well Complete Genomics makes out. The biotech field has seen a batch of IPOs this year, but investors have been more interested in companies with solid cash flow rather than the prospect of a bright future.

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