Company Announcements

Samplix, whose Xdrop technology is designed for partitioning single molecules in droplets, received a European Commission Horizon 2020—SME (small and medium enterprises) Instrument program grant totaling €1.9 million ($2.2 million).

Roswell Biotechnologies closed a $32 million  Series A round, which will be utilized to develop its DNA sequencing Molecular Electronics technology. The company aims to develop a $100, one hour, clinical-grade genome.

In January, clinical genomics informatics firm PierianDx entered into a strategic, multiyear partnership with Illumina to provide a variant interpretation and reporting solution based on its Clinical Genomics Workspace platform and Clinical Genomics Knowledgebase for select Illumina oncology products. Illumina and its affiliates will be responsible for the distribution of the RUO oncology products and packaged solutions. Laboratories that purchase the RUO products from Illumina will have an option to receive standardized reporting from PierianDx, driven by professional guidelines for streamlined case review and sign-out.

In January, Color announced that Illumina will provide sequencing reagents and hardware to its initiative to build the foundation for the first mainstream application of whole-genome sequencing in clinical care through the use of polygenic risk scores. The initiative aims to enroll 100,000 volunteers.

In January, the US FDA granted Illumina Breakthrough Device Designation for its TruSight Oncology Comprehensive, an assay based on the content of TruSight Oncology 500, which is designed to detect known and emerging solid tumor biomarkers. As a result, the assay will receive prioritized review and resources. Illumina is seeking FDA approval of the assay as a companion diagnostic.

On its fourth quarter 2018 earnings call, Illumina announced that it is lowering the price of its NovaSeq S1 and S2 NovaSeq flow cells by 25% and 10%, respectively. The company also announced a partnership with Sysmex to sell what it called the first NGS-based oncology panel in Japan. The company also announced that its NextSeq 550Dx sequencer received product approval certification with the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency in Japan, Illumina’s first such designation in the country.

In January, SOPHiA GENETICS closed a $77 million round, led by Generation Investment Management, bringing the total raised to $140 million.

In January, LifeMap Sciences, a subsidiary of AgeX Therapeutics, announced a partnership with Tianjin Novogene Medical Laboratory and Shanghai Shanyi to provide a combined, best-of-breed clinical NGS analysis and interpretation platform for Tianjin Novogene Medical Laboratory’s customers in China. LifeMap Sciences’ TGex is the leading provider of tertiary NGS analysis and interpretation solutions for rare pediatric disorders in the Chinese market.

Paragon Genomics partnered with MGI Tech, a subsidiary of BGI Group, which will distribute Paragon Genomics’ CleanPlex NGS Panels for use with MGI’s sequencing platforms. Paragon Genomics will distribute MGI’s automated sample preparation workstation systems in the US and Canada. Paragon Genomics also joined the MGI Compatible Partner Program as a compatible/certified partner.

In January, MGI announced pricing and its first early access customer for the new ultra-high-throughput MGISEQ-T7 sequencer, which sells for $1 million, stating that it has driven down sequencing cost to $5 per gigabyte. The company also announced that the MGI global sequencer user program, which supports collaborators using the T7, signed up WeGene, direct-to-consumer genetics testing provider based in China, as the first user.

MGI announced in January that it delivered over 1,000 sequencers to more than 250 users in 16 countries as of the end of last year. Its number of employees now totals 800.

Genomenon completed a $2.5 million equity financing round in January. Genomenon connects patient DNA with evidence found in scientific literature.

In January, NRGene and Toyota announced the decoding of a leading commercial strawberry genome. The combination of NRGene’s assembly of the strawberry genome and Toyota’s GRAS-Di DNA analysis technology will enhance the development of natural strawberry varieties better suited to the Japanese market.

Arbor Biosciences, which provides NGS target enrichment and synthetic biology products, partnered with the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium in January. The strategic partnership will provide Consortium members with a standardized exome panel for R&D, as well as expand Arbor’s collaboratively developed myBaits Expert panels in agrigenomics.

In January, HTG Diagnostics announced that CEO TJ Johnson will assume the role of executive chairman of the Board and be replaced by President and COO John Lubniewski.

In January, seqWell and Gencove partnered to combine their respective plexWell library preparation technology, and imputation and analysis software for low-pass whole-genome sequencing and genotype imputation.


Product Introductions

HTG Molecular Diagnostics introduced in June the HTG EdgeSeq Reveal, a software that streamlines analysis of biomarker data from samples analyzed with the HTG EdgeSeq Precision Immuno-Oncology Panel on its EdgeSeq system.

In January, Swift Biosciences launched the Swift Amplicon 16S+ITS Panel, facilitating routine NGS analysis of complex microbial samples (e.g. bacteria, archaea, fungi) using a single, multiplexed primer pool targeting the 16S rRNA gene (all variable regions, V1-V9) and ITS1 and ITS2 for fungi.

In January, Oxford Nanopore announced that its PromethION 24 and PromethION 48 are now available in its nanopore store. The modular systems include a computer module for real-time base calling and onward analysis.

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