Quarter 4 of 2014 seems to be another exciting one for Next Generation Sequencing. Beside the chemistry update for PacBio RSII also Illumina and IonTorrent / ThermoFisher announced two major improvements / achievements:
- Chemistry update for the Illumina HiSeq X Ten and the HiSeq 2500 Rapid Run
The new v2 reagent kit for the HiSeq X Ten supports a PCR-free sample preparation kit, which eliminates amplification during the library preparation. So far only sample preparation kits with PCR were possible, which sometimes results in a lower quality of challeging genomic regions.
The new v2 reagent kit for the HiSeq 2500 enables users to sequence 2x 250 bp and the new chemistry therefore delivers up to 300 Gbp of data in only 60 hours. (Press Release)
To my opinion Illumina proves once more that NGS is highly dynamic and that their continous update for existing systems is the key for their success (the latest financial report confirms that Q3 of 2014 with a growth of 10% is the strongest since 2011 for Illumina (Fierce Medical Devices)).
- IonTorrent goes diagnostic
The Ion PGM Dx System is now also CE-Marked for in vitro diagnostic (IVD) use in Europe. Thermo Fisher Scientific believes that the CE-mark “will enable European clinical laboratories to more easily [...] implement new [...] diagnostic assays” (Press Release).
In September they announced already that the PGM is now listed with the U.S. FDA as a Class II Medical Device.
To my opinion the clearance for diagnostic use in Europe as well as in the U.S. will further strengthen the position of the Ion PGM in clinical laboratories.