Illumina unveils new gene sequencing device with bargain price tag

Illumina is rolling out its latest gene sequencing machine, the iSeq 100, priced at just under $20,000.

Illumina, the maker of DNA sequencers, unveiled its latest device. With a price tag of just under $20,000, the company hopes it will open the doors for more researchers to study viruses, bacteria and other microbes.

The company’s new iSeq 100 sequencing device, which measures about 1 cubic foot, is priced at $19,900. It combines Illumina’s sequencing by synthesis chemistry with metal-oxide-semiconductor detection technology.

The device, which Illumina touts as being the most powerful of its type for its size, is part of an effort to position next-generation gene sequencing as a standard for discovery research and routine genomic testing for a wide range of customers, markets and applications.

Now “any researcher can have access to the accuracy of an Illumina sequencer in their lab,” Francis deSouza, Illumina’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “The iSeq 100 offers robustness and reliability for a broad range of applications ranging from germline and somatic tumor profiling to 16S microbial analysis and targeted gene expression.”

The device is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter, the company said, adding that it is working to increase the device’s output and reduce its run time in an effort to expand the iSeq 100 into other markets like rapid microbiome sequencing, testing for foodborne pathogens and monitoring hospital acquired infections.