Life Technologies reports that it is $5,000 away from reaching the hallowed ground of the $1,000 genome. The company has introduced the Applied Biosystems SOLiD™ 4 Sequencing System, which generates up to 100 gigabases of mappable sequence data per run at a cost of $6,000 per genome. Illumina would be another contender in this race, with its HiSeq2000, generating data at $10,000 per genome.
The firm also says that in the second half of the year, the SOLiD 4 System can be upgraded with the SOLiD 4hq package, which will generate up to 300 gigabases of mappable sequence data per run and deliver accuracy of 99.99% percent, enabling customers to sequence the whole genome for $3,000.
Starting this quarter, the SOLiD 4 System will be available as an upgrade for all SOLiD installations. Concurrent with its launch, researchers will also be able to reduce overall sequencing costs by automating their workflow through the new Applied Biosystems EZ Bead™ System.
Life Technologies also reported that it will dedicate approximately $100 million over the next three years to address the challenge of bioinformatics in relation to whole-genome sequencing. As a first step, the company announced the introduction of BioScope™, an appliance- or cloud-enabled software solution that reportedly decreases analysis time by 80%. It enables SNP detection, transcriptome analysis, and the export of mappable sequence data into a standardized base sequence format. Moving forward, Life Technologies says that it will invest in improving the archiving, analysis, and communication of sequencing data.
Separately, the Life Technologies Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Life Technologies, announced $5 million in grants over the next two years to accelerate the education of physicians in the field of molecular medicine.