Tag Archives: Complete Genomics

BGI acquired Complete Genomics

BGI announced the acquistion of Complete Genomics this week. According to the press release and the statement from BGI’s CEO Wang Jun, Ph.D.  one of the reasons for the acquistion was that “Complete has developed a proprietary whole genome sequencing technology … (that) fit well with our research and business requirements …”. It is important to note that although the Complete Genomics technology shows a slower performance than the Illumina technology it appears to be more accurate (Georg Church, Advisor of BGI & CG).

But what are the market/industry responses to the new acquisition?

  • BGI gets “an immediate infrastructure and service offering that will complement the facilities in China” (Isaac Ro, Goldman Sachs)
  • “Now BGI gets their US front… And CG is sparred a slow and painful demise…” (Seqanswers)

I would really like to read an interview in 6 months from employee’s of both parties to learn who is the actual “winner” of this deal? Is it BGI since they now have access to the US market or Complete Genomics whose questionable financial situation gained a significant boost from the acquistion. Will Complete Genomics still be an independent operating company? We will find out.

Innovation or Excess?

It seems that Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) is as seasonal or innovative as fashion. Early this year Oxford Nanopore Technologies announced a revolutionising technology where NGS can be performed on very small sequencers in USB-Stick format.  Just recently Complete Genomics reported about a new technology, named Long Fragment Read (LFR). LFR enables to increase the sequencing accuracy by 10-fold and reduces the amount of starting material at the same time. Additonally QIAGEN disclosed the acquisition of Intelligent Bio-Systems Inc. (IBS). A previously undisclosed NGS benchtop sequencing instrument, combining IBS and QIAGEN technology will be launched soon. The main focus of this technology is the processing of multiple samples in parallel. I am looking forward to learn more about this technology, which seems to have some things in common with the Illumina technology, since Illumina just sued QIAGEN for infringement of NGS patents.

So do we have an excess in development for Next Generation Sequencing or do we need more? My personal opinion is that innovation is the source of science and that it is important to develop new technologies. But it remains fascinating if and when any of the new technologies will replace any of the currently used technologies, like Roche GS FLX or Illumina. I’ll keep you updated.