In June, we reported about BGI’s announcement of ‘Nation-scale’ sequencer (Peak Sequencing? BGI Unveils Nation-scale Sequencer) and commented -
it clearly looks like the society is reaching peak sequencing and should invest in other components of medical science.
Not so surprisingly, BGI possibly came to the same conclusion five months later and decided to delay the launch of its mega-sequencer to expedite their desktop version. Surprised BIO-IT World reports -
Complete Genomics of Mountain View, Calif., is undergoing a big shakeup under the direction of its Shenzhen-based owner BGI, Julia Karow reports at GenomeWeb. The company, once the largest sequencing-as-a-service provider in the U.S., will lay off what Karow reports is a substantial number of employees and refocus its R&D; efforts in support of BGIs new BGISEQ-500 sequencer, revealed last month at the International Conference on Genomics.
The reorganization comes at a surprising time, as Complete Genomics was in the midst of its own product launch, of the ultra-high-throughput Revolocity sequencing system. Three customers, pursuing large-scale whole genome sequencing for patient care, had announced their purchases of the system, at a price of $12 million each. Complete Genomics was preparing to install these Revolocity systems, each a miniature sequencing factory unto itself, in early 2016.
Now these installations will be delayed, and there is no indication of when or if the contracts can be honored.
As recently as one month ago, Complete Genomics CEO Cliff Reid spoke to Bio-IT World about his plans for Revolocity, and the efforts his company had gone through to reinvent itself as a commercial manufacturer. What [BGI] needed from us was to be a packaged product supplier, Reid said at the time, referring to his pivot away from sequencing-as-a-service after his companys acquisition in 2013. So it accelerated our move from a pure services business to being able to distribute our technology globally, and it caused us to go through some major packaging processes.