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Illumina Launches Budget Sequencer for Research Labs

The iSeq 100 Sequencing System has a list price of $19,900 making it an affordable option for research labs across the country.

Illumina Launches Budget Sequencer for Research Labs

By: Sarah Hand, M.Sc.

Posted on: in News | Biotech News

Sequencing giant Illumina has used the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference as a platform to launch its newest – and most affordable – DNA sequencing system. The iSeq 100 Sequencing System has a list price of $19,900 making it an affordable option for research labs across the country.

“For under $20,000, any researcher can have access to the accuracy of an Illumina sequencer in their lab,” said Francis deSouza, President and Chief Executive Officer at Illumina in a press release about the launch. “The iSeq 100 offers robustness and reliability for a broad range of applications ranging from germline and somatic tumor profiling to 16S microbial analysis and targeted gene expression.”

The iSeq 100 next generation sequencing (NGS) system is less than half the price of Ilumina’s MiniSeq, which is priced around $50,000.

The company credits “an entirely different configuration” of their proprietary sequencing by synthesis (SBS) chemistry and its metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) detection technology as a driver behind the device’s lower cost. Still, Illumina explains that lower price doesn’t come at the expense of data accuracy.

The iSeq 100 measures one cubic foot in size making it a compact instrument capable of fitting into small lab spaces. While Illumina says the device has a wide range of applications, the company believes the most likely use of the next generation sequencer will be in the study of bacteria and viruses in non-diagnostic research labs.

“The addition of the iSeq 100 has great potential to transform infectious disease surveillance,” said Dr. Pardis Sabeti, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a Broad Institute Member. “We anticipate that our lab researchers will use it to focus on infectious disease monitoring.

“We have seen examples of how Illumina benchtop systems, like the MiSeq, were instrumental in understanding and addressing disease outbreaks. We believe the accuracy of the iSeq 100, coupled with the low cost and small footprint, will allow us to introduce NGS capability where it is needed most.”

Labs can start ordering their sequencers now and Illumina has said it will begin shipping these instruments in the first quarter of this year.

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