Illumina Inc, San Diego, recently launched the MiniSeq sequencing system, introduced Infinium XT, and previewed Project Firefly, which will lead to the commercialization of a new semiconductor-based sequencing system.


Jay Flatley, Illumina.

“Illumina has a history of breaking down barriers in genomics by making sequencing and genotyping easier to perform and less expensive,” says Jay Flatley, CEO of Illumina. “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. 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.”

With push-button operation, the benchtop MiniSeq system 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 and shipping early in the first quarter of 2016, the research-use only sequencer is designed as part of a complete sequencing system that enables both experienced and new-to-NGS researchers to get results quickly with a 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 supports many applications commonly performed by molecular biologists, translational researchers in oncology, and molecular pathologists.

Shipping in the third quarter of 2016, Infinium XT is an addition to 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 1 million samples or more per year. This solution is ideally suited for agrigenomics applications, which require low plexity assays. This product will also enable human applications, particularly for biobanks and personalized medicine initiatives with large-scale targeted genotyping.

Illumina also previewed Project Firefly, a new sequencing system designed to democratize NGS and enable the adoption of genomics worldwide. According to the company, the platform will offer customers a low capital cost and plug-and-play installation. The stackable two-module system is developed to minimize hands-on time for both library preparation and sequencing.

Leveraging Illumina digital fluidics technology, the first module prepares 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 move to BaseSpace for analysis. With output of approximately 1.2G per run, the platform is ideal for such markets as 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 for both modules. For customers running eight samples at once, the company projects per-sample consumable pricing near $100.

For more information, visit Illumina.