Element Biosciences unveils Aviti benchtop sequencing system

After raising $276 million in venture capital last year, Element Biosciences’ first DNA sequencing product is making its public debut.

The company hopes to make a splash in a competitive market with its benchtop-sized Aviti system, designed to provide flexible genomic analyses from cost and performance standpoints.

The commercial rollout also comes on the heels of a series of partnerships that aim to broaden Aviti’s reach among different laboratory tasks—and also with players such as Agilent Technologies, Google DeepVariant, Qiagen, Roche, 10x Genomics and more.

“And with the recent Loop Genomics acquisition, we will offer both short and long-read capabilities on a single platform,” Element’s co-founder and CEO, Molly He, said in a statement, referring to the deal completed in early February.

The Aviti System, priced at $289,000, operates two random access flow cells that enable independent run start flexibility of each flow cell, and the Aviti operating software features tunable read throughput control for additional run time flexibility.

The hardware includes two flow cells that can be run independently with sequencing reagents delivered by a cartridge. With run times spanning 13 to 48 hours, the company estimates a throughput cost of between $5 and $7 per gigabase, or one billion nucleotides, based on the flow cell’s output settings. Element is now taking orders, with shipments slated to begin in the second quarter of this year.

Element also teamed up with Dovetail Genomics, Fabric Genomics, Genoox, Jumpcode Genomics, New England Biolabs, Sentieon and Watchmaker Genomics to help validate its Aviti system, demonstrate its use in clinical and research applications and ensure its compatibility with different library prep kits.

For example, its work with Qiagen and Agilent covers their QIAseq and SureSelect target enrichment panels, respectively, with each used to help accurately detect low-frequency genetic variants. Meanwhile, Element’s collaboration with 10x Genomics announced last month aims to pair up the Aviti with the latter’s single-cell analysis platforms, including its Chromium gene-expression hardware and Visium spatial analysis tools.

Last June, the San Diego-based company more than doubled its lifetime venture capital haul since its 2017 founding, with a $276 million series C round. That may help it compete with the genetics giant located just down the street, Illumina, which commands about 75% of the global sequencing market and more than 90% of the U.S. pie.