Illumina launches solid tumor sequencing panel aimed at Big Pharma researchers

The sequencing panel samples are analyzed using Illumina's MiSeq Desktop Sequencer.

Illumina kicked off commercialization of its next-generation solid tumor sequencing panel to help researchers identify 15 commonly mutated genes in samples.

The TruSight Tumor 15 sequencing panel is optimized for formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded tumors, Illumina says in a release. It is compatible with the company's MiSeq Desktop Sequencer.

The new offering consists of various consumables like quality control primers, preparation tubes, filter plates and hybridization buffers. Illumina says the multiplex polymerase chain reaction method used to prepare the sample produces data from tumor DNA in 36 hours, with 3.5 hours of "hands on time."

"Tumor biopsies are collecting ever smaller amounts of cancer tissue and the fixation and preservation of the material results in degraded DNA. The challenge for scientists has been to get sufficient intact DNA to efficiently identify the key genetic drivers," said John Leite, a vice president of oncology at Illumina, in a statement. "This new panel is designed to reduce the resource burden on small and medium-sized labs by offering a simple, accurate and fast solution that addresses tissue considerations on the front end and provides streamlined analytics on the back end."

Pharmaceutical partners helped Illumina choose the genes in the panel. They include BRAF, KRAS, and PIK3CA.

Illumina says the TruSight Tumor 15 is now available for order, and will ship in in the fourth quarter of this year.

The product launch comes on the heels of Illumina's alliance with Chinese next-generation sequencer Burning Rock to create cancer diagnostics geared toward that market and increase its footprint in the country.

In addition to the research and clinical use markets, Illumina aims to benefit from the consumerization of genetics. It's the leader of Helix, a joint venture aimed at creating an app store that contains programs leveraging individuals' genetic data. The genetic data will be produced by Illumina's sequencing technology. 

- read the release