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The $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, the largest medical prize in history, has gone international. Today the X PRIZE Foundation announced that base4 innovation, a United Kingdom company, has been approved as a competitor.
The Archon X PRIZE for Genomics is the second prize launched by the X PRIZE Foundation, following the success of the Ansari Space X PRIZE. To win the $10 million prize purse, teams must successfully sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days for less than $10,000 per genome. This accomplishment would be a revolutionary and needed step towards personalized medicine.
"We're delighted to have base4 innovation as our first international team," said Marc Hodosh, Senior Director of the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics. "This is an enormous, yet attainable challenge. We welcome base4 innovation and other entrants from around the world to compete and focus their energy on winning this historic X PRIZE. Such new technology will help mankind better understand disease while advancing proactive and preventative healthcare. Let's cheer them on!"
With support from the University of Warwick and Warwick Ventures, base4 innovation is developing a new high-speed, low-cost method of DNA sequencing, which combines well-known techniques such as photon detection and fluorescent labeling with nanostructures and cutting-edge methods of nanofabrication. The team consists of physicists and biologists from Oxford, Cambridge and the University of Warwick. Cameron Frayling, team leader and base4 innovation founder, is a researcher at the University of Warwick and the inventor of the innovative method behind this sequencing technology.
"In the last century, many great challenges have been faced and overcome: the first flight across the Atlantic, the first to climb Mt. Everest, the race to land on the Moon," said Frayling. "The Archon X PRIZE is not about great distance or great height. It is about our ability -- both as individuals and as a species -- to look within. There is nothing more fundamental to who we are, no greater key to our ancestry and origin, than our genetic code."
base4 innovation is the fifth team to register for the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics since its launch in October of 2006. Other teams include VisiGen Biotechnologies, 454 Life Sciences Corporation, the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution (FAME), and Reveo, Inc.
About X PRIZE FOUNDATION
The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. On October 4, 2004, the X PRIZE Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan and Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world's first private vehicle to space twice in two weeks to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The X PRIZE Foundation has since launched the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics and the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, and will continue to offer new prizes for breakthroughs in the areas of life improvement, exploration, equity of opportunity and sustainability. The Foundation is widely recognized as the leading model for fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit http://www.xprize.org or email For more information on the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, please visit http://www.genomics.xprize.org
ABOUT BASE4 INNOVATION
Formed in 2007 with support from the University of Warwick and Warwick Ventures, base4 innovation is a group of highly talented and innovative biologists and physicists from the University of Warwick and Oxford and Cambridge University specializing in molecular biology, single photon detection, and nanotechnology.
base4 innovation is developing a new high-speed, low-cost method of DNA sequencing which combines well-known techniques such as photon detection and fluorescent labeling with nanostructures and cutting-edge methods of nanofabrication. For more information, please visit http://www.base4innovation.co.uk , or e-mail .
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