Developments in DNA sequencing market

17 October 2013

It was announced this week that Roche is to close their 454 Life Sciences sequencing arm and concentrate solely on development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) products.
454 uses a pyrosequencing platform, but the company has also been developing semiconductor sequencing and nanopore sequencing platforms in partnership with other companies. Both these collaborations will now end.
This follows on from Roche’s failed hostile takeover of Illumina in 2012. The nanopore sequencing market continues to be hotly contested between competitors including with Oxford Nanopore, who have just announced completion of a new funding round; Illumina, who have pulled out of an earlier agreement with Oxford Nanopore but announced a licensing agreement with the University of Washington; and new entrants to the market such as Genia vying for position. IBM also says it will continue to develop their own nanopore sequencing technology despite Roche’s decision to pull out of their collaboration.

Looking ahead, Genia CEO Stefan Roever says that the big winner will be whoever manages to corner the market by combining “the best hardware, the best operating system, and the best apps” to provide a mobile sequencing device with clinical diagnostic applications accessible via a cloud-based system. 

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