Genetic Future

GenomeWeb News reports that genome sequencing company Complete Genomics is cutting costs in the lead-up to the commercial launch of its whole-genome sequencing service in June:

In order to save its remaining cash, the company recently
implemented “a variety of cost-saving measures,” including “some
reductions” in the salaries of its employees and a trimming of
“non-essential” costs, such as discretionary spending. “We just want to
be prudent about [spending] our cash,” Reid said.

The company has not had any layoffs, he added, and is “still running at full capacity.”
At this time, he said, Complete Genomics does not anticipate any effect
of the current lack of funding on its ability to launch its service in
June, or to complete pilot projects on time. As of earlier this year,
the firm had approximately 120 employees.

The “pilot projects” are early package deals in which Complete offers five complete human genome sequences for $100,000 (see, for instance, this deal with the Broad Institute) – more expensive than its promised commercial price of $5,000 per genome, but still considerably cheaper than existing second-generation sequencing technologies.

Complete’s business model requires the construction of massive, expensive sequencing facilities to provide its service to customers from academia and industry; in the current economic climate raising the necessary capital must be incredibly tough. 

For more information on Complete, see the following posts:

The $5000 genome by 2009? Complete Genomics emerges from stealth mode

Game on: sequencing companies draw battle-lines for 2009 at AGBT

Complete Genomics: some questions answered (an interview with Complete’s CEO Clifford Reid and CSO Rade Drmanac).

A reader also pointed me to a recent BBC News article on Complete.

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