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Singular Looks to Stand Out in Sequencing Performance

GENOMICS: Company Focuses on ‘Higher Impact Products’

La Jolla-headquartered Singular Genomics is hyper-focused on developing novel sequencing technologies and scaling the commercial footprint of its G4 platform, which launched commercially in December 2021.

Drew Spaventa
Chairman & CEO
Singular Genomics

“The G4 was designed to offer a combination of speed, flexibility, and throughput significantly superior to any other sequencing system.  For researchers, this means faster experimental results and more efficient research.  For customers that may choose to internally validate the G4’s use for clinical applications, this potentially means quicker and more cost-effective sample-to-answer,” said Drew Spaventa, chairman and CEO of Singular Genomics. “A good example that highlights the speed, flexibility, and throughput is the Newborn Intensive Care Unit or NICU.  In this real-world example, critically ill newborn children undergo rapid sequencing to identify the cause of the illness, which is often genetic. The G4 is ideally suited for customers that validate its use for this type of application, as [the product design] allows our customers to perform overnight whole genome sequencing of both parents and the baby in the same run.”

The company is also touting the use of more powerful so-called flow cells – sample cells that are a critical part of DNA sequencing. Singular converted most of its installed base to “F3” flow cells, allowing users to get double the output compared to “F2” flow cells – meaning there’s more bang for the buck with greater performance, lower cost and the ability to serve more applications for customers. Singular is also showing off its Max Read Kits – sequencing kits for single-cell sequencing purposes. “It’s generating roughly 3.2B paired reads per single run on the G4, a  level of throughput much higher than any competitive offering.  This means researchers can process significantly more samples per run at a lower cost,” added Spaventa.

Singular’s next big reveal will be its spatial sequencing PX platform, which will come with more details in 2024.

“Spatial sequencing is exactly what it sounds like: sequencing inside of cells within tissue,” Spaventa said. “This provides cell-specific genetic information and spatial context, including cell-to-cell interactions, cell-to-protein interactions, and cell activity within a tumor microenvironment. The field of spatial biology is growing fast, as much of the research is around understanding cancer and cancer treatment at the molecular level.  We are excited to share more about our spatial sequencing products in early 2024.”

‘Highest Quarterly Total Yet’

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In its third quarter earnings report release Nov. 14, Singular (Nasdaq: OMIC) reported progress on commercial sales of its G4 platform products.

“We shipped five G4 systems in the third quarter, our highest quarterly total yet, launched Max Read flow cell kits for single cell sequencing, and saw our largest number of quarterly consumable kit orders,” Spaveta said. “In the near term, we will be building our installed base more aggressively and prioritizing fewer yet higher impact products on our product roadmap. We have also cut costs to extend runway into 2026, providing time to build our installed base, get new high-impact products to market, and scale revenue.”

To help cut costs, the company implemented a workforce reduction initiative, affecting about 10% of its staff (about 30 employees).

Operating expenses for Q3 totaled  $24.5 million, compared to $24.7 million for Q3 of 2022, with operating expenses that included non-cash stock-based compensation of $2.8 million for Q3 of 2023 and $3.4 million for the Q3 of 2022.

Singular reports that the year over year decrease in total operating expenses was driven mostly by decreasing research and development materials and lab supply costs while the company transitioned from development to commercialization of the G4. Meanwhile, net loss for Q3 of 2023 was  $22.4M, compared  to $23.8M in Q3 of 2022.

Finally, cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments (excluding restricted cash) totaled $190.7 million as of the end of September.

Singular Genomics

FOUNDED: 2016
CEO: Drew Spaventa
HEADQUARTERS: Torrey Pines
EMPLOYEES: 250
BUSINESS: biotech
WEBSITE: singulargenomics.com
CONTACT: info@singulargenomics.com
NOTABLE: All of Singular’s innovation, product development and manufacturing is done in-house, from the ground up in San Diego.

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