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News breaking: 2008-01-22

( BW)(MA-KNOME) Knome Commences Whole-Genome Sequencing Process for
First Clients; First individuals in history to have genome sequenced
by a personal genomics firm

    Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers/Health Editors

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 22, 2008--Knome and the
Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI), announced today that they have
initiated the process to sequence the entire genomes of two private
individuals. These clients are expected to be the first individuals in
the world to have their genome sequenced by a personal genomics firm.

    "These individuals are pioneering an emerging science with us,"
said George Church, PhD, a co-founder of the firm and professor of
genetics at Harvard Medical School. "Whole genome sequencing
represents the future of personalized medicine and these sequenced
genomes will nearly double the amount of whole-genome information
available today."

    To date, only three scientists have had their genomes sequenced,
all as part of sponsored research efforts. These include Nobel Prize
winner Dr. James Watson, Dr. Craig Venter and an anonymous Chinese
scientist sequenced by BGI. Once the sequencing for these two most
recent commercial clients is finished, Knome and BGI are expected to
have completed the sequencing of three of the five known human

    "We expect to complete the sequencing process for these clients in
the coming months", said Zhuo Li, vice president of international
collaboration at BGI. "With over 100 bioinformaticians, we have one of
the top teams in the world focused on this important effort. We
believe whole genome sequencing will ultimately drive advances in
biomedical research and will enhance our understanding of the role of
genetics in human function and disease."

    Knome's whole-genome sequencing and analysis services are being
marketed globally to private individuals. Knome is currently offering
a limited number of clients the opportunity to participate in its 2008
sequencing programs. Pricing starts at $350,000 and includes both
sequencing and a comprehensive analysis from a team of leading
geneticists, clinicians and bioinformaticians.

    "We are very happy to be underway with our first clients," said
Ari Kiirikki, vice president of sales and business development at
Knome. "At this time, both clients have chosen to remain anonymous. As
part of our service, we have developed a variety of processes and
tools designed to keep their genomic identity private and secure. If
they choose to release their identity or share their genetic code, it
will be on their own terms."

    About Knome

    Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Knome has the distinction of
being the first personal genomics company to commercially offer
whole-genome sequencing and analysis services for individuals.
Whole-genome sequencing decodes nearly all of the six billion bits of
information that make up an individual's genome, unlike genome
scanning or "SNP chip" technologies that decode only 0.02% of an
individual's genome. Working alongside leading geneticists, clinicians
and bioinformaticians, Knome enables its clients to obtain,
understand, and share their genomic information in a manner that is
both anonymous and secure. Knome is a privately funded company. Please
visit www.knome.com for more information.

    About BGI

    Established in 1999 and headquartered in Shenzhen, China, the
Beijing Genomics Institute is the largest genetic sequencing center in
Asia. BGI has been a core participant in all major international
sequencing efforts, including the International Human Genome Project
and the International HapMap Consortium. The Institute has one of the
largest bioinformatics teams in the world and has made a significant
investment in state-of-the-art sequencing technologies, deploying over
120 sequencing machines, 10 supercomputers, and 500 terabytes of
storage capacity. Please visit www.genomics.org.cn for more

    Knome is a trademark of Knome, Inc. All other company and product
names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they
are associated.


    CONTACT: Knome
             Danielle Singer, 410-302-9459
             Public Relations

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