BioNanomatrix and Complete Genomics formed a joint venture that received an $8.8 million grant from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology Advanced Technology Program (NIST-ATP) to develop a system capable of sequencing the entire human genome in eight hours at a cost of less than $100.

“Our joint venture team will pool our innovative technologies–Complete Genomics’ novel sequencing chemistry and our advanced nanofluidic platform–to develop a breakthrough technology that will radically decrease the cost and time required for sequencing the genome, making it possible for the first time for genetic information to be incorporated into routine medical care,” remarks Michael Boyce-Jacino, president and CEO of BioNanomatrix.

Today, the cost of sequencing the roughly three billion base pairs in the human genome is over $100,000. Technology advances thus far have suggested that it would be possible to reduce the cost in the coming years to as little as $1,000 per individual.

“While there are a number of powerful and elegant sequencing strategies available or under development, we determined that we needed a completely novel approach to overcome their inherent limitations and achieve our $100 cost objective,” points out Radoje Drmanac, CSO and cofounder of Complete Genomics.

The joint venture proposes adapting a novel DNA sequencing chemistry combined with linearized nanoscale DNA imaging to create a system that can read very long DNA sequences of greater than 100,000 bases at high speed and with accuracy exceeding the current industry standard.

The NIST-ATP award is in the form of an $8.8 million matching grant for the five years of the project. The total project cost is expected to be approximately $17.8 million, including both the grant award from NIST-ATP and the matching funds that will be provided by the joint venture partners, they say.







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