454 Life Sciences and Roche Diagnostics Announce Updated Version of the Genome Sequencer 20(TM) System

BRANFORD, Conn.,– 454 Life Sciences Corporation, a majority-owned subsidiary of CuraGen Corporation (Nasdaq: CRGN), and Roche Diagnostics today announced the launch of an updated version of the Genome Sequencer 20(TM) System. Version 1.02 of the Genome Sequencer 20 System comes with a bundle of improvements. The most important new features are: * a single read accuracy of greater than or equal to 99%; * software algorithms to enable additional applications; * two additional PicoTiterPlate(TM) gasket formats; * extended shelf life and improved reagent handling such as rapid thawing protocols; and * a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) enabled mode, facilitating embedding of the system into lab infrastructures. The enhanced features of the Genome Sequencer 20 System, version 1.02 will yield several significant improvements in the way the system can be used and in the data that result. The increased accuracy of single reads, greater than or equal to 99%, will further increase the quality of consensus sequences. It will also considerably improve the confidence level of putative sequence deviations detected using heterozygote calling and ultra deep amplicon sequencing, which the companies plan to launch later this year. The new software algorithms result in improved assembly and contigging procedures and allow for sequencing of hundreds of thousands of short DNA fragments such as serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE(TM)) tags or cap analysis of gene expression (CAGE) tags, miRNA or chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) fragments. By combining new gasket formats with new software capabilities, the system’s flexibility will be increased considerably, enabling more applications to be addressed more efficiently. This refers particularly to high quality gene expression or sequencing of bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs). The cost-effective Genome Sequencer 20 can perform sequencing runs up to 60 times faster than conventional commercially available platforms. The technology on which the system is based was developed by 454 Life Sciences. The system’s hallmark is the proprietary PicoTiterPlate, which allows the Genome Sequencer 20 System to sequence over 20 million bases within a five hour run. The technology integrates proprietary picoliter-technologies, patented light emitting sequencing chemistries, and state-of-the-art informatics. The method is fast thanks to a high degree of parallelization:the entire process sequences thousands of DNA molecules simultaneously.

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