Applied Biosystems, part of Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:LIFE), a provider of innovative life science research and discovery solutions, today announced that its technology for next-generation genomic analysis, the SOLiD™ System, has been named the Life Science Innovation of the Year for 2008 by The Scientist, a leading scientific publication focused on the life science industry. In making the announcement of the first-ever Life Science Innovation of the Year Award, the publication recognized new technologies that represent a combination of invention, vision and utility during the past year.
CARLSBAD, Calif. (Business Wire EON) December 4, 2008 -- The SOLiD System received the top award based upon its ability to significantly reduce the cost of DNA sequencing, which will enable basic and clinical researchers who may not have previously considered genomic approaches to re-evaluate their experimental workflow. The technology, which was commercially launched in October of 2007, is defining a new industry standard in DNA sequencing by delivering a combination of high throughput, unmatched accuracy, and low cost per project that was previously unavailable in the life science community. For instance, scientists from Life Technologies used the SOLiD System earlier this year to sequence an entire human genome for $60,000, establishing the lowest cost ever reported for a sequencing project, shattering the $100,000 industry milestone.
The SOLiD System continues to rapidly evolve, with the latest version of the platform – SOLiD 3 System – setting new standards with significantly higher sample throughput. The new system, which is to be launched in early 2009, will yield more than 20 gigabases of mappable sequence data, or 400 million tags per run. This vast improvement in data output per run is expected to further decrease the cost of genomic sequencing for multiple applications, including DNA, RNA and epigenetic analysis. By providing the life science community with access to high quality genomic data at a lower cost per sample, researchers will be able to accelerate disease association and biomarker discovery studies to improve diagnostics and disease management.
"This system is the breakthrough on the way to a whole genome sequence that would take weeks and cost roughly $10,000," said David Piston, Ph.D., a renowned professor of molecular physiology & biophysics at Vanderbilt University, who was one of the members of the panel of judges for the Life Science Innovation of the Year Award. "This really puts the possibility of personalized medicine in play. For research, people that never considered genomic approaches are now doing so. In so many ways, this machine changes the paradigm of how we can approach research and clinical care."
The SOLiD platform features an open-slide architecture that offers inherent scalability to accommodate a wide array of applications in a cost-effective manner. The combination of increasing bead density, extending read lengths to greater than 50 base pairs, high accuracy, and multiplexing capability of up to 256 samples in a single run, will enable the SOLiD 3 System to generate approximately 7-fold coverage across the entire human genome. This will enable researchers to extract more meaningful biological information with fewer samples.
Other key enhancements provide a more efficient workflow, including simplified sample handling, optimized chemistry for improved performance, automation for unattended operation, enhanced software algorithms to streamline data handling, and a suite of bioinformatics software tools to expand the breadth of supported applications. In total, the SOLiD 3 System offers a complete workflow solution for many applications such as whole genome sequencing, targeted resequencing, whole transcriptome analysis, gene expression profiling, small RNA characterization, methylation profiling, and chromatin-immuno precipitation sequencing analysis. These productivity and performance enhancements will enable genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomics studies on a single platform, which should enable researchers to take a comprehensive molecular approach to understanding complex biological systems.
"The 2008 Life Science Innovation of the Year Award by The Scientist is a significant milestone in Life Technologies' quest to ultimately make personalized medicine a reality," said Mark Stevenson, President and Chief Operating Officer of Life Technologies. "We continue to invest and develop the SOLiD technology, which we have always believed would prove to be the highest-performing and most cost-effective solution for the vast majority of sequencing projects going forward. This prestigious honor is validation that we're making a difference for our customers around the world."
Life Technologies is a market leader in solutions for DNA sequencing and genomic analysis solutions through its Applied Biosystems and Invitrogen brands. During 2008, Invitrogen and Applied Biosystems have received 10 awards related to genetic analysis technology, including the SOLiD System being named best-in-class in the category of Instrumentation for Genomic Analysis by the Life Science Industry Awards (LSIA), hosted by The Scientist magazine and BioInformatics, LLC. For more information about the LSIA industry awards, please visit http://www.lifescienceindustryawards.com/2008/winners.html
About Life Technologies
Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:LIFE) is a global biotechnology tools company dedicated to improving the human condition. Our systems, consumables and services enable researchers to accelerate scientific exploration, driving to discoveries and developments that make life even better. Life Technologies customers do their work across the biological spectrum, working to advance personalized medicine, regenerative science, molecular diagnostics, agricultural and environmental research, and 21st century forensics. The company had sales of more than $3.5 billion in 2008, employs 9,500 people, has a presence in more than 100 countries, and possesses a rapidly growing intellectual property estate of over 3,600 patents and exclusive licenses. Life Technologies was created by the combination of Invitrogen Corporation and Applied Biosystems Inc. For more information on how we are making a difference please visit our website: www.lifetechnologies.com.
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