Market for DNA Sequencers Growing by Leaps and Bounds

The market for high-speed DNA sequencers is taking flight, DeciBio, a consulting and analytics firm focused in the life sciences told me Feb. 14.

DNA sequencing instruments read DNA letters to help researchers uncover disease causes and potentially develop new and valuable diagnostic tests for diseases, including cancer and prenatal abnormalities.

In 2017, the market was worth about $3 billion, and it’s predicted to grow to $4.6 billion by 2020, driven primarily by its adoption in clinical settings, DeciBio said.

British-based Oxford Nanopore is trying to disrupt the DNA sequencing market by introducing small, portable, and less expensive sequencers to the market to compete with players like Menlo Park, Calif.-based Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) and San Diego-based Illumina, which dominates the market and sells much larger, more expensive sequencing instruments.

Oxford’s sequencer, known as the MinION, is pocket-sized and uses nanopores, small pores formed using various proteins, to read long sequences of DNA letters. It’s portable and can be used outside a lab for real-time sequencing. It costs about $1,000.

Illumina’s cheapest system, the iSeq 100 Sequencing System, a flexible benchtop sequencer is priced at $19,900.

Illumina’s website says it’s designed to provide a fast and easy way to use the system with unmatched accuracy. The most expensive of its sequencers is the NovaSeq, with a list price of $985,000, Illumina’s Jen Carroll told me.

“In this segment of the market, accuracy is critical,” she said.

Read my full story here.

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