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Complete Genomics, Broad Institute Forge Cancer Sequencing Collaboration

By Bio-IT World staff

March 3, 2009 | Complete Genomics (CGI) has formally announced a collaboration with the Broad Institute to conduct complete human genome sequencing pilot studies of two cancers — glioblastoma and melanoma. Company founder, chairman and CEO Clifford Reid first made mention of the pending partnership during a lecture last month at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology conference in Florida.

“We are excited to be among the first to evaluate Complete Genomics’ promising new sequencing service,” said Chad Nusbaum, co-director of the Broad Institute’s Genome Sequencing and Analysis Program. “We are optimistic that these data will help us to more quickly identify genetic variants, such as cancer-causing mutations and other rare germline events.”

CGI has developed a novel high-throughput next-generation DNA sequencing technology, based on the work of co-founder Rade Drmanac, which it plans to offer in a service model to the scientific and pharma community later this year. The company aims to sequence 1000 human genomes in 2009, and 20,000 the following year. Until now, the only pilot program announced was one with board member Leroy Hood.

In the new partnership, the Broad Institute will provide CGI with five cancer samples, including one that has been extensively characterized by the scientific community. The other four genomes are matching glioblastoma and melanoma tumor/healthy tissue pairs.

“Our newly released, proof-of-concept sequencing data have been well received by the scientific community, and we are now looking forward to demonstrating our technology’s potential to reveal new avenues of medical research,” said Reid. “[This project] may provide additional insight into the pathways responsible for these deadly diseases.”

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