Genome Scanning Costs Drop Down To $10,000

New platform enables rapid, cost-effective analysis of entire genomes, and a systems-biology approach to the study of organisms

FOSTER CITY, Calif. – October 1, 2008 – Applied Biosystems (NYSE:ABI) today announced a new genomic analysis platform, the SOLiD™ 3 System, that is expected to enable scientists to sequence a human genome for approximately $10,000. Significant cost-reduction and productivity enhancements have been built into the company’s latest ultra-high-throughput genomic analysis platform, enabling researchers to dramatically drive down the cost of sequencing entire genomes of all organisms, and expand applications for RNA and epigenetic analysis. Use of this system is expected to help life science researchers move one step closer to the mainstream use of genomic data for clinical research and personalized medicine.

Earlier this year, Applied Biosystems used the SOLiD 3 System’s underlying oligonucleotide ligation and detection technology to sequence a human genome for less than $60,000. Technical enhancements to the new platform that enable higher sample and data throughput are expected to further decrease the cost of genomic sequencing. For example, the availability of lower cost genomic data is expected to accelerate disease association and biomarker discovery studies to improve diagnostics and disease management, support clinical trials that successfully match the right treatments for individuals, and help the general population to better understand their individual genetic makeup.

Jesse M. Gray, Ph.D., postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Michael E. Greenberg, Ph.D., director of the F. M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Children’s Hospital Boston, has been using the SOLiD Small RNA Expression Kit with multiplexing capability to investigate gene expression changes in response to nerve cell activation. He believes that the inherent scalability and sensitivity of the SOLiD technology has advantages for many sequencing-based and tag counting applications.

“The $10,000 genome represents yet another striking decrease in the cost per base for sequencing projects,” said Dr. Gray. “The reduced cost of sequencing will allow us to include more experimental time-points in our studies and run more experiments overall. This significant cost decrease will also allow for higher throughput across all types of sequencing experiments, not just for sequencing human genomes.”


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