The X PRIZE Foundation Announces new Competitor for Pioneering Genome Sequencing Prize
News May 07, 2007
The prize will be awarded to the first team that can develop a tool to sequence 100 human genomes in 10 days, costing no more than $10,000 per genome with 99.999% accuracy.
Teams from VisiGen Biotechnologies, Inc., 454 Life Sciences and the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution are also competing in the quest to develop a revolutionary sequencing tool for the benefit of global health.
"We are thrilled that Reveo has thrown its hat into the ring to compete for the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics," said Marc Hodosh, senior director, Archon X PRIZE for Genomics.
"Reveo represents a leading edge of the genomics industry and understands that the speed and affordability of sequencing genomes along with the fewest possible errors are keys to reducing the impact of disease and ushering in a new era of personalized medicine."
Reveo’s concept device, which is called the Omni Molecular Recognizer Application (OmniMoRA), relies on physical methods, rather than indirect chemical methods, to read the DNA sequence directly.
Since the OmniMoRA uses principles from semiconductor electronics and photonics it has the potential to achieve the necessary speed, cost and accuracy improvements over existing sequencing instruments that use indirect chemical methods.
“The most challenging technical issue of the OmniMoRA has been the ability to fabricate nano-knife edges,” said Dr. Sadeg Faris, Chairman and CEO of Reveo, and the inventor of the OmniMoRA.
“To date, no one has demonstrated a way to fabricate nano-knife edges in published literature. We have explored many viable technologies on how to accomplish this edge geometry and have discovered innovative processes that enable the success of this technology,” Faris added.
Reveo’s proprietary concept uses arrays of nano-knife edge probes to directly and non-destructively read the sequence of three billion pairs of nucleotides that comprise the human genome. As the nano-knife edges are stepped with sub-Angstrom resolution over a stretched and immobilized single strand DNA, molecular characteristics are measured and recorded for each of the nucleotides.
Faris is confident this concept can be developed to accomplish and even surpass the requirements set forth by the X PRIZE Foundation by delivering a sequencing tool with 100% error-free reads and 100% coverage that can read an entire human genome, epigenome and proteome simultaneously in minutes for pennies per genome.
The significance of having such tool capable of reaching these standards will help usher in a new era for personalized medicine, enabling physicians a means to discover and treat diseases before they would normally be diagnosed.
China is poised to introduce a new regulation on gene editing in humans. A draft of the country’s new civil code lists human genes and embryos in a section on personality rights to be protected. Experiments on genes in adults or embryos that endanger human health or violate ethical norms can accordingly be seen as a violation of a person’s fundamental rights.READ MORE