The Institute for Systems Biology Orders 615 Complete Genomics Genomes

January 13, 2011

By Bio-IT World Staff

January 13, 2011 | The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) and Complete Genomics have signed an agreement that calls for Complete Genomics to sequence 615 complete human genome samples as part of an ISB study on neurodegenerative diseases.

This will be the third major sequencing project Complete Genomics has taken on for ISB. In 2009, ISB engaged Complete Genomics to sequence four genomes as part of a small family study to verify the causal gene in Miller syndrome. This initial project resulted in a publication in Science that also documented the low error rates in the data generated by Complete Genomics. In early 2010, Complete Genomics sequenced 100 genomes for multiple family studies of Huntington’s and other diseases for ISB in collaboration with several academic institutions. These studies demonstrated even lower error rates than the data generated in 2009.

“Over the past two years, Complete Genomics has played a critical role in our investigation of several diseases in multigenerational families," said David Galas, ISB senior vice president for strategic partnerships, in a press release. "Its proven complete human genome sequencing service has helped our scientists in these detailed genetic analyses. The Miller syndrome study by ISB, the University of Utah and the University of Washington, was groundbreaking.”

Along with saving the Institute the outlay associated with pipeline building and technology development, ISB's president Leroy Hood said Complete Genomics' "continuous increase in sequencing accuracy and coverage has allowed us to generate highly accurate results.” All of the work at ISB on these projects has been supported by the partnership between ISB and the University of Luxembourg, in particular with the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine.

Neurodegenerative diseases cover a broad range of disorders that affect neurons, or neuromuscular control, many of which are genetic or hereditary in nature, such as Huntington’s disease. For the new study, ISB will, in coordination with its academic partners, supply the purified DNA samples from families with multiple affected individuals. Complete Genomics will perform the sequencing, assembly and annotation and deliver to ISB a listing of variations found in each genome. ISB will then do its own further analysis, utilizing the power of family genetics and network analysis with the data sets to identify causal and modifying genes.

“We are proud that leading organizations such as ISB continue to rely on our high-quality and high-throughput sequencing services to conduct large-scale disease studies,” said Clifford Reid, Complete Genomics' president and CEO. “In 2011, we anticipate that many more researchers will look to complete human genome sequencing to help with their studies of disease, and we look forward to working with the research community to continue to provide accurate, consistent and research-ready data." 

Reid says that Complete Genomics currently has the ability to sequence and analyze more than 400 complete human genomes per month, and expects the capacity to increase between two- and threefold in 2011.