Sequencing cost slides to $4,400 at Complete Genomics

Complete Genomics reported yesterday that it has successfully chipped away at the cost of sequencing a genome. Six years ago the cost was $300 million, a million smackers in 2007 and $60,000 last year. Now the company says its researchers completed the task at a cost of about $4,400 for the reagents needed to sequence three genomes.

Complete Genomics boasted last year that it had targeted a $5,000 price tag on sequencing, bringing the price down to the point where drug researchers could affordably include a genomics initiative to better understand disease triggers and the patient populations most likely to respond to new therapies. Ultimately Mountain View, CA-based Complete Genomics and competitors like Pacific Biosciences want to drive the cost down to less than $1,000, hoping to crack open a market in mainstream medicine where patients can afford to use it to analyze their risk of disease and better calculate which meds would be most effective for their condition.

For Complete Genomics, the drive to economize centers on the use of 200 nanometer DNA balls that assemble into ultra-dense arrays, speeding the analysis of the DNA and holding back on the reagent costs.

"For the first time this will enable large numbers of patients to be sequenced to get to the bottom of thousands of genetically controlled diseases," says Radoje Dramanac, Complete Genomics' chief scientist and the lead author of a paper in Science.

- here's the Complete Genomics' release
- read the piece from ScienceNOW