Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2011

Gene Sequencing: Staking a Position in an Expanding Industry

by Richard G. Hamermesh, Mara Aspinall and Phillip Andrews


Towards the end of 2010, companies in the gene sequencing industry were pushing aggressive R&D programs to develop technologies and products in the race to sequence the entire human genome at a cost of $1,000. It remained to be seen when the "$1,000 genome" would arrive, and despite all of the buzz surrounding the industry, it was still unclear to investors who the industry winners would be. This case focuses on the emergence of third-generation sequencing and the four segments in the industry: hardware, consumables, services, and interpretation. The case presents the history of the industry, the evolution of sequencing technology, and the business models of players in each segment.

Keywords: Genetics; Business Growth and Maturation; Business Plan; Competition; Venture Capital; Biotechnology Industry;


Hamermesh, Richard G., Mara Aspinall, and Phillip Andrews. "Gene Sequencing: Staking a Position in an Expanding Industry." Harvard Business School Case 812-004, October 2011.