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Solexa Announces Major Sequencing Progress

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Solexa, Inc. has announced that its scientists have sequenced a human bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC), an important milestone demonstrating that Solexa's reversible-terminator chemistry and Clonal Single-Molecule Array™ technology can be applied to resequence human DNA.

The results of this project, which were presented during the GSAC 2005 Genomes, Medicine and the Environment Conference, demonstrate that Solexa's platform can achieve the data quality, read length and coverage uniformity required for economical and rapid resequencing of human DNA.

Solexa expects its instrument system to be the first to dramatically reduce the cost, while also increasing the speed, of DNA sequencing.

In particular, Solexa expects to be the first to deliver whole human genome sequencing at $100,000 per genome.

“In setting out to sequence this human BAC, our goal was to prove that our technology platform can address the complexities of human DNA sequencing,” said Tony Smith, Ph.D., Solexa's vice president and chief scientific officer.

“These results have important implications as they demonstrate that we can produce data of the necessary quality, and suggest we will be able to achieve the necessary scale, to resequence whole human genomes at or below $100,000 per sample.”

Solexa sequenced a BAC which contains 162,000 base pairs of human DNA from the HLA region. Using 25 base pair reads, Solexa scientists were able to align 90% of the BAC back to its own reference sequence.

While this work was completed using an early laboratory prototype instrument, Solexa anticipates releasing results of sequencing from its laser-based instruments as they become available.

“We have developed our system with a focus on human samples and have formulated our work plan to sequence genomic samples that can be compared with independently published data, as this demonstrates proof-of-concept with our system,” said John West, Solexa's chief executive officer.

“Our sequencing strategy calls for sequencing progressively larger and more complex portions of the human genome in order to further validate the unique capabilities of our system in enabling rapid and economical whole genome resequencing.”

“We have already obtained human whole genome DNA samples and are readying them for analysis using proprietary methods in order to meet these milestones.”