MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 11, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) and Complete Genomics Inc. (Nasdaq:GNOM) announced today the signing of an agreement that calls for Complete Genomics to sequence 615 complete human genome samples as part of an ISB study on neurodegenerative diseases. In 2009, ISB engaged Complete Genomics to sequence four genomes as part of a small family study to verify the causal gene in Miller syndrome. This initial project resulted in a publication in Science 1 that also documented the low error rates in the data generated by Complete Genomics. More recently, in early 2010, ISB engaged Complete Genomics to sequence 100 genomes for multiple family studies of Huntington's and other diseases in collaboration with several academic institutions. These studies have demonstrated even lower error rates than the data generated in 2009. "Over the past two years, Complete Genomics has played a critical role in our investigation of several diseases in multigenerational families. Its proven complete human genome sequencing service has helped our scientists in these detailed genetic analyses. The Miller syndrome study by ISB, the University of Utah and the University of Washington, was groundbreaking," said ISB Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnerships David Galas. "Partnering with Complete Genomics for our human sequencing needs has allowed us to focus on data analysis and interpretation while avoiding major capital expense, pipeline building and technology development. Their continuous increase in sequencing accuracy and coverage has allowed us to generate highly accurate results," said ISB President Dr. Leroy Hood. All of the work at ISB on these projects has been supported by the partnership between ISB and the University of Luxembourg, in particular with the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine. Neurodegenerative diseases cover a broad range of disorders that affect neurons, or neuromuscular control, many of which are genetic or hereditary in nature, such as Huntington's disease. For this study, ISB will, in coordination with its academic partners, supply the purified DNA samples from families with multiple affected individuals. Complete Genomics will perform the sequencing, assembly and annotation and deliver to ISB a listing of variations found in each genome. ISB will then do its own further analysis, utilizing the power of family genetics and network analysis with the data sets to identify causal and modifying genes.