GnuBIO Awarded $4.5 Million to Develop Lower Cost Genome Sequencing TechnologyPublished On: Mon, Sep 24th, 2012 | Genomics | By BioNews
GnuBIO announced today that it has been awarded a $4.5 million Phase II SBIR grant over the next three years through the National Human Genome Research Institute’s (NHGRI) Advanced DNA Sequencing Technology Program.
After a rigorous process, the grant committee at the NIH chose six projects to fund for this competitive award’s program aimed at further advancing DNA sequencing technologies. Out of the total of $19 million, the NHGRI awarded GnuBIO the largest annual amount.
The purpose of the NHGRI grant program is to significantly reduce the cost of genome sequencing while improving both accuracy and speed, while significantly reducing the cost of sequencing a genome. GnuBIO, whose platform is based on Microfluidic DNA Sequencing, will use this funding to further develop its core technology towards rapid and accurate whole genome sequencing for less than $1000.
GnuBIO is commercializing a platform technology that integrates target enrichment, PCR, sequencing and informatics into a single system. The instrument has demonstrated sequencing of genomic DNA amplicons with read lengths up to 1000bp and accuracy higher than 99.9% per base. Unlike other currently available commercial systems, the GnuBIO platform encompasses all of the steps required for DNA sequencing into a single cartridge, thereby obviating any sample preparation that is required for all other commercial sequencing platforms.
“Sequencing reactions on the GnuBIO platform take place inside droplets using minute reagent volumes. The NHGRI grant will be used to further reduce the size of these droplets and increase parallel processing of sequencing reactions to enable extremely low cost and rapid sequencing of large targets such as exomes and genomes,” said Tal Raz, Vice President of Molecular Biology at GnuBIO. Currently, GnuBIO is in the process of preparing for the launch of its beta system, a platform that is capable of inline selection of sequencing targets, inline PCR, inline sequencing, and real-time informatics. The commercial system has a targeted price of $50K USD.
“The grant award comes at an ideal time for us as it complements our strategy to launch an affordable sequencing platform that is practical for everyday patient care,” said John Boyce, President and CEO of GnuBIO. “This grant will enable us to expand our R&D capacity and enhance our core technology by increasing the throughput capability and enabling whole-genome sequencing.”