Sequence tech readies for launch

Complete Genomics' announcement that it has sequenced, analyzed and delivered 14 human genomes to customers since March is a prelude to the commercial debut of the company's human genome sequencing technology, scheduled for January. Academic and commercial customers currently have underway pilot projects of five to 10 genomes in small-scale cancer, HIV and schizophrenia studies.

Complete Genomics' CEO Clifford Reid says in an announcement that the company's business model will have a commercial focus on high-volume sequencing, to be offered at a cost of $5,000 per 40x genome, but will also include small specialty projects (minimum of eight genomes) at $20,000 per genome.

The company says that to achieve its commercial objectives, it will employ instruments that read more than a terabase (1012 bases) per run. The developer is building high-density nanoarrays that will contain 2.85 billion spots of DNA arranged in a grid with 70 bases per spot, allowing it to sequence an entire human genome on a single array. Also being developed: instruments that read sequences from multiple DNA nanoarrays concurrently, for the sequencing of more than a terabase in a single run.

Complete Genomics will use proprietary software on a high-performance computing cluster to process the massive amounts of data. The company's analysis pipeline allows for vendor switches and technology platform evolution. "Our goal is to optimize cost, efficiency and operational aspects without being tied to a single platform or vendor," says a company spokesperson.

There are no specific IT requirements on the customer side. A typical customer, the company says, will need to be able to handle large-scale scientific computing, including both compute servers and relatively large amounts of disk storage.

- here's the announcement (pdf)