HudsonAlpha pairs HiSeq X Ten with Dragen processor to boost throughput

Edico CEO Pieter van Rooyen

HudsonAlpha has rejigged its operation to cope with the torrent of genomes it unleashed when it installed an Illumina ($ILMN) HiSeq X Ten. The new model is underpinned by Dragen, the processor Edico Genome has designed specifically to deal with the demands of sequencing data analysis.

Nonprofit genomic science institute HudsonAlpha initiated the rethink of its operation after buying a HiSeq X Ten from Illumina. The $1,000 genome-enabling system tripled the sequencing output at the lab. With 15,000 whole human genomes coming down the pipe every year, HudsonAlpha has tried to get a handle on the ramped-up data analysis requirements by integrating a Dragen processor into its workflow. Edico Genome has pitched the processor as a way to slash the time it takes to turn the BCL files outputted by HiSeq sequencers into the more useful variant call format (VCF).

HudsonAlpha has joined the list of companies to validate Edico Genome's excitement about its processor. "Our average time from completing chemistry on the sequencer to a VCF file being available is 40 minutes," HudsonAlpha Genomic Services Laboratory Director Shawn Levy said in a statement. "Our collaboration has completely transformed the way we process whole-genome data." The installation of the Dragen processor has allowed HudsonAlpha to phase out the servers that used to support its data analysis activities.

The nonprofit has put Dragen to use across multiple areas of its operation. Staff at the Genomic Services Laboratory, at which the HiSeq X Ten is installed, are the headline beneficiaries, but the new workflow is also affecting the Clinical Services Laboratory and HudsonAlpha's role in the Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER) consortium. CSER was initiated by the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Cancer Institute.

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