GnuBIO Makes First Sequencing Data Available to Thought Leaders in Molecular Diagnostics and Gene Expression
Cambridge, Massachusetts (April 06, 2011) GnuBIO, Inc (GnuBIO), a pioneer in DNA sequencing for the diagnostic and applied markets, announced today that it has made available the results from its initial DNA sequencing run to thought leaders in molecular diagnostics and pharmacogenomics at the Montreal Heart Institute, and experts in gene expression at the Broad Institute. The company, which closed an $8M Series A round at the end of November 2010 and has been located on Sidney Street in Cambridge, MA for only 4 months, is currently months ahead of its technology and commercial milestones.
GnuBIO’s technology is the first fully-scalable DNA sequencing platform. The cost and time of the technology are able to scale as a function of the number of bases sequenced. This is in contrast to all other sequencing platforms whereby a fixed number of samples are needed in order to amortize the cost of the sequencing run, thus requiring researchers and clinicians to wait until they have collected enough samples in order to start the genomic analysis. To date, GnuBIO’s sequencing system is the only technology which allows a per sample cost as a function of genomic region. Whether a user runs 1 sample or 1,000 samples across a fixed region the cost per sample will remain the same. Conversely, if a sample is run across a smaller region, the costs decrease.
A goal of oncology DNA sequencing applications is the ability to load a sample, sequence a targeted region with high genomic complexity at very high coverage, and have the answer back in an extremely short timeframe. In order to demonstrate its feasibility towards this goal, GnuBIO chose a target that contained sequence context problematic to most sequencing technologies:
- 58% GC rich
- Homopolymeric regions, ranging from 2 – 6 bases
- PCR generated amplicon
The following results are the raw and unfiltered data from the GnuBIO prototype system:
- 99.993% per base accuracy: This is the true per base accuracy, and is not based on consensus accuracy
- 100% sequence coverage
- 100% of the reads were used
- Read lengths of 126 base pairs (read lengths of 1Kb can routinely be achieved today)
- 1,700X coverage
“What is paramount to the clinical lab is accuracy and turn-around time”, stated Michael Phillips, Translational Research Chair of Canada, and Director of the Pharmacogenomics Center at the Montreal Heart Institute. Phillips continued, “The ability to inject a sample and have the sequencing results, with very high coverage and long read lengths, in a matter of seconds as opposed to days, will not only transform the way diagnostics are conducted in the clinical lab, but will also pave the way for point of care diagnostics in the physicians office. The scalability, and associated per sample analysis cost of the GnuBIO system, has the potential to seriously impact the cost of healthcare. The data that I have reviewed shows that GnuBIO has made significant progress towards this endeavor, and that the technology will make transformative changes in the clinical market.”
Justin Lamb, Senior Scientist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and leader of the Connectivity Map project said, “Based on the quality of the data being generated by the GnuBIO platform, I’m very excited about its potential for gene-expression assays for applications, ranging from small-molecule profiling to analyses in oncology.”
“We are thrilled with the encouraging feedback from leading genomic centers on the GnuBIO platform and the resulting data that we have achieved in a very short timeframe,” stated John Boyce, President and CEO of GnuBIO. “Having shown that a number of sequence context challenges will not be a problem, we will now increase the complexity of the genomic targets under analysis, in order to carefully understand the basis on which the system specifications are defined”, Boyce continued.
The GnuBIO system is projected to sell for a cost of under $50,000 USD.
GnuBIO, Inc (www.gnubio.com) is a private company and a pioneer in the field of scalable DNA sequencing technology for the Diagnostic and Applied Markets. Utilizing its proprietary microfluidic and emulsion technologies, GnuBIO will work within these markets to develop nucleic acid analysis based systems that scale as function of both patient sample and genomic region. The GnuBIO system has the capability of running numbers of samples that are in line with diagnostic and applied market endeavors for a cost that represents orders of magnitude less than current technology. The same system also has the headroom to compete in the high throughput market, and will achieve a comparable output, in hours, to what the leading technology takes weeks to produce.
Susie Truong Harborth
SVP, Business Operations