Halcyon Molecular

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Halcyon Molecular
Founded2008 in Arizona, U.S.
FoundersWilliam Andregg, Michael Andregg
HeadquartersRedwood City, California[1]
ProductsWhole genome sequencing

Halcyon Molecular was a whole genome sequencing startup based in Redwood City, California, founded in 2008, that went out of business in 2012.


Halcyon was founded by the brothers William Andregg and Michael Andregg in 2008,[2] and was based, first at the University of Arizona where they had done undergraduate coursework,[2] and later in Redwood City, California.[3] It raised over $20 million in venture capital investment from Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, as well as hardware entrepreneur Elon Musk.[4] Over the period 2010-2011, the company employed former SpaceX computer engineers Michael Dabrowski and Paul Dabrowski, before they left to found Synthego.[3]


According to Luke Nosek, Halcyon aimed to develop technology that could "sequence 100 percent complete human genome in less than ten minutes for less tha[n] $100".[5] Mike Hodgkinson of The Independent described their aim as "hugely ambitious".[2] They faced competition from Oxford Nanopore Technologies, who had developed their own genetic sequencing system.[6]

As of July 2013, the core technology upon which their new sequencing paradigm had been based had been published in collaboration with the laboratory of George M. Church at Harvard University, where it was described as "[m]olecular threading," which "show[ed] great potential as a high-throughput DNA manipulation technology," but noting that "much work [wa]s needed before it can be reliably applied in scaled DNA sequencing...".[7]


  1. ^ "Halcyon Molecular". CrunchBase. TechCrunch. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Hodgkinson, Mike (August 13, 2011). "Silicon Valley: The anatomy of a cutting-edge start-up". The Independent. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  3. ^ a b SFBT Staff (July 5, 2013). "Stealthy Synthego raises $8.3 million". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  4. ^ Sherman, Natalie (March 16, 2018). "Tesla boss in line for mega-pay deal". BBC. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  5. ^ Malik, Om (August 19, 2012). "Halcyon Molecular Quietly Shuts Down". GigaOm. Archived from the original on August 12, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  6. ^ Kumparak, Greg (February 22, 2012). "New Competitive Threat Forces Halcyon Molecular to Accelerate Its Game Plan". PandoDaily. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  7. ^ Payne, Andrew C.; Andregg, Michael; Kemmish, Kent; Hamalainen, Mark; Bowell, Charlotte; Bleloch, Andrew; Klejwa, Nathan; Lehrach, Wolfgang; Schatz, Ken; Stark, Heather; Marblestone, Adam; Church, George; Own, Christopher S.; Andregg, William (July 31, 2013). "Molecular Threading: Mechanical Extraction, Stretching and Placement of DNA Molecules from a Liquid-Air Interface". PLOS ONE. 8 (7): e69058. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069058. PMC 3729692. PMID 23935923. Retrieved January 5, 2017.

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