Sequenom, Inc. has announced that it plans to develop a third-generation single molecule nucleic acid analysis technology based on exclusive license rights from Harvard University that covers a readout system technology for single DNA molecules based on simultaneous optical probing of multiple nanopores.
This technology recently received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) three-year award for the development of a next-generation sequencing technology aiming at a sub-thousand dollar genome. Nanopore-based single molecule readout technology is a method that can detect a single strand of DNA as it passes through a pore that is more than a thousand times smaller than the diameter of a human hair and should enable ultra-high throughput DNA analysis such as sequencing, genotyping, and RNA and epigenetic analysis on a whole genome scale.
Financial terms of the agreement include up-front fees, milestone payments and royalties on future product sales.
"As nucleic acid sequencing costs become progressively lower, it will become cost effective to replace more aspects of DNA and RNA analysis by sequencing," stated Charles Cantor, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Sequenom.
"It is strategically important for Sequenom to be able to offer customers a cost-effective sequencing option and we do not believe the new second-generation sequencing methods will achieve the needed cost effectiveness.”
"The synergy between the required manpower skills needed to develop nanopore sequencing and our current science and engineering expertise behind our MassARRAY technology is noteworthy. Optimizing molecular biology tools for sample preparation and optimizing software tools for fast signal processing are key requirements for nanopore sequencing and Sequenom currently has great strength and experience in these areas," Dr. Cantor added.