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Illumina Extends Genomics Portfolio

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Illumina, Inc., has announced the newest addition to its industry-leading next-generation sequencing (NGS) portfolio with the launch of the MiniSeq Sequencing System. During its presentation at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Illumina also introduced Infinium XT, and previewed Project Firefly, which will lead to the commercialization of a new semiconductor-based sequencing system. 

"Illumina has a history of breaking down barriers in genomics by making sequencing and genotyping easier to perform and less expensive. The MiniSeq Sequencing System and Infinium XT technologies build on this legacy and will enable researchers and applied practitioners to unlock the power of the genome like never before," said Jay Flatley, CEO of Illumina. "With these new products, and Project Firefly in development, we are excited about enabling an increasing number of customers worldwide to unlock the power of the genome." 

MiniSeq System 

The new MiniSeq System makes Illumina's trusted sequencing technology accessible to all laboratories interested in performing targeted sequencing. With push-button operation, the flexible benchtop sequencer enables a broad range of DNA and RNA sequencing applications, from examining single genes to entire pathways, in a single run. Priced at $49,500 USD, and cost-efficient to run, the affordable MiniSeq System allows virtually any laboratory to adopt NGS, regardless of sample volume. 

The research-use only MiniSeq System is designed and being commercialized as part of a complete sequencing solution that enables both experienced and new-to-NGS researchers to get results quickly with an easy-to-use library-to-results workflow and onboard data analysis for numerous assays. The sequencer is also able to stream sequencing data to BaseSpace®, Illumina's cloud and onsite genomics computing environment. Compatible with a full suite of Illumina library preparation solutions, and end-to-end support from Illumina scientists and engineers, the MiniSeq System is an ideal NGS workflow solution for many applications commonly performed by molecular biologists, translational researchers in oncology, and molecular pathologists. 

Infinium XT 

Infinium XT builds on the success of the Infinium product family offering Illumina's highest throughput array format to date. The 96-sample BeadChip offers laboratories the ability to perform genotyping on larger numbers of samples, testing up to 50,000 markers per sample and enabling laboratories to scale up to one million samples or more per year. This solution is ideally suited for agrigenomics applications, which require low plexity assays, especially for parentage, meat traceability, and genomic selection. This product will also enable human applications, particularly for biobanks and personalized medicine initiatives with large scale targeted genotyping. 

Infinium XT will begin shipping in the third quarter of 2016. 

Project Firefly 

Illumina also previewed a new sequencing system designed to democratize NGS and truly enable the adoption of genomics worldwide. The highly-reliable, easy-to-use NGS platform will offer customers a low capital cost and plug and play installation. The most integrated sequencer ever developed, the system will take users from purified DNA to answers, making it the ideal tool for virtually any laboratory. The stackable two module system will minimize hands-on time for both library preparation and sequencing. Leveraging Illumina digital fluidics technology, the first module will make library preparation simple and efficient preparing eight normalized samples in parallel on a library preparation cartridge. A separate cartridge for sequencing, loaded into the second module, will deploy a one channel version of Illumina's sequencing-by-synthesis chemistry on a semiconductor chip. Sequencing data will seamlessly move to BaseSpace for analysis. 

The new system will be superior to competing semiconductor-based sequencing systems with a raw error rate of less than one percent, data quality comparable to that of a HiSeq XTM Sequencing System. With output of approximately 1.2G per run, the platform will be ideal for numerous markets including academic research, oncology, infectious disease, inherited disease, and reproductive health. 

Illumina expects to commercialize this system in the second half of 2017, priced at less than $30,000 USD for both modules. For customers running eight samples at once, the company projects per-sample consumable pricing near $100.