Broad Institute snaps up GemCode Platform as 10X Genomics starts shipping

10X Genomics has started shipping its hotly tipped long-read sequencing technology, GemCode Platform. And the first batch of buyers of the $75,000 machines includes some big names, with the Broad Institute among the organizations to already have a GemCode Platform installed.

Pleasanton, CA-based 10X Genomics made two big splashes at the start of the year, first at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference where it surged out of stealth mode with a $55.5 million VC round and then again at AGBT when it unveiled its technology. Now, having hit its goal of shipping devices in the second quarter, 10X Genomics will start to find out how its technology fares in the real world. Among the multiple customers to have already received a GemCode Platform is the Broad Institute.

"With the GemCode Platform now installed, we will soon deliver Linked-Reads for a range of applications including structural variant detection and haplotype phasing. This technology will be a great addition to the suite of sequencing offerings," Stacey Gabriel, director of the genomics platform at the Broad Institute, said in a statement. Interest from the Broad Institute and others is underpinned by 10X Genomics' potential to address a rare weakness in Illumina's ($ILMN) armory: long reads.

The Linked-Reads to which Gabriel referred are 10X Genomics answer to the thorny question of how to increase the length of DNA stretches. Instead of trying to supplant Illumina, 10X Genomics has designed its technology to complement the sequencing giant's tech, allowing laboratories to add long-read capabilities to their existing setups for $75,000. Such long reads are needed to determine whether a person inherited some genetic variants from their mother or father.

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