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Sweden's Single Technologies Progresses Towards 3D Sequencing, $10 Human Genome

Summary of the article

Andrew P. Han (New York, 2024) [Sweden's Single Technologies Progresses Towards 3D Sequencing, $10 Human Genome] GenomeWeb, 10 april 2024.

GenomeWeb recently published the article “Sweden's Single Technologies Progresses Towards 3D Sequencing, $10 Human Genome.” CEO Johan Strömqvist and advisor Bob Kain were interviewed for the article which reports that Single Technologies is making strides with its high-throughput sequencing instrument, a project initiated in 2019, writing that “the technology literally adds a new dimension to lowering the cost of sequencing.”

Their innovation revolves around a 3D "matrix" design to replace the conventional 2D flow cell, promising enhanced reagent utilization and cost reduction. Strömqvist envisions sequencing a human genome for just $10, a breakthrough made possible by their imaging technology, orders of magnitude faster than confocal imaging.

"[It's the] first disruptive architecture I've seen since the HiSeq.”

The novelty of Single Technologies has garnered attention, particularly from industry veterans like Bob Kain, a former leader in Illumina’s R&D organization, who now advises the company. Kain praises the technology's disruptive potential, as it introduces a third dimension to sequencing, exponentially enhancing efficiency. Kain told GenomeWeb, "[It's the] first disruptive architecture I've seen since the HiSeq.”

GenomeWeb writes that beyond industry accolades, Single Technologies has secured partnerships, notably with the "Regenerar" project, funded by the European Commission's European Innovation Council Pathfinder program. This collaboration aims to reprogram glial cells into neurons using epigenetic manipulation, leveraging Single Technologies' sequencing capabilities for specific applications.

Founded in 2014, Single Technologies initially focused on optical technology for proteomics and spatial biology. However, their shift to sequencing in 2019 has attracted significant investment, totaling over $13 million, and notable progress has been made with their Theta sequencer, smaller than Illumina's NovaSeq, Strömqvist said, “but weighing in at nearly 300 kg and taking up space of around 1 cubic meter, it is designed to be used in production-scale labs.”

GenomeWeb writes that “Single Technologies has at least one prototype and is building two more. As previously disclosed, it plans to use established sequencing-by-synthesis methods, taking advantage of the fact that the core Illumina patents covering this approach have expired over the last several years.”

Strömvist said, "As we start running commercially, we expect to sequence at Q30 reliably for the counting applications." The article states that “run times depend on a combination of the number of reads and number of cycles” and that “the firm is currently doing billions of reads” "but we have a path towards one trillion in the not-so-distant future."

The article continues,”One potential application is in situ spatial analysis, especially of cells”.“However, the first applications are likely to be sequencing-based counting applications, Strömqvist said, though he declined to disclose read lengths.”

The company's patent applications, including the novel matrix layer, highlight their commitment to innovation. Strömqvist said, "We are using a linear coordinate system and treat the sample as if it is a rectangular volume. The system is flexible in terms of matrix thickness, and there are different optimum matrix thicknesses depending on the application."

Strömqvist said, "We're trying to raise capital now. Once we have the funding, we will publish what we have. We'll have more data to present soon."

Single Technologies' advancements hold promise for the future of sequencing technology, poised to revolutionize genomics with their groundbreaking approach.

Read the full article here.

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