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Ion Torrent Selected as World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer

GUILFORD, Conn., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Ion Torrent, the semiconductor sequencing company, today announced that it has been selected as one of 31 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers for 2011. The winning companies were chosen from a field of 330 startups and judged on the impact their innovations are expected to have on the future of business and society.

Dr. Jonathan M. Rothberg, Ion Torrent's founder, chairman and CEO, was selected to represent the company at Davos in 2011. He is the first person ever to be chosen three times as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.

"We're honored to be recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer," Dr. Rothberg said. "Ion Torrent has developed an entirely new way to sequence DNA that directly translates chemical signals into digital information on a semiconductor chip. Just as the microprocessor made desktop computing ubiquitous, Ion Torrent's semiconductor technology is making sequencing accessible to every lab and clinic."

Until now, scientists have had to use light to translate chemical signals (e.g. the DNA bases A,C,G,T) into digital information (0,1). That required complex optics, like lasers and scanners, which made sequencing a slow and expensive process that only the largest labs could afford. Ion Torrent's breakthrough PostLight™ sequencing technology replaces all those components with a proprietary semiconductor chip made in standard semiconductor fabs. The Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM™) sequencer is one tenth the price of other sequencers to buy and to run, and instead of taking a week to sequence DNA, it takes an hour or two. The Ion Torrent sequencing platform is simpler, faster, less expensive, and more scalable than any other technology available.

This year's World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers were chosen by 68 global technology experts. The Forum received the widest range ever in country of origin, with 13 countries represented: Australia, Canada, India, Israel, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Nigeria, People's Republic of China, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Over half of the Technology Pioneers are from the United States, underscoring the country's position as a leading incubator for innovation.

The Technology Pioneers program is how the World Economic Forum identifies and integrates companies that display the most promise of significantly disrupting the way business and society operate. The companies must show the potential to become longstanding market leaders, while demonstrating visionary leadership and proven technology.

"The World Economic Forum is proud to recognize an outstanding group of innovative companies as Technology Pioneers for 2011," said Andre Schneider, the Forum's managing director and chief operating officer. "Their technologies and business models will have a durable and valuable effect in several industries and for society as a whole. We look forward to their unique contributions to the mission of the Forum: improving the state of the world."

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About Ion Torrent

Ion Torrent has developed a DNA sequencing system that directly translates chemical signals (A, C, G, T) into digital information (0, 1) on a semiconductor chip. The result is a sequencing system that is simpler, faster, less expensive and more scalable than any other technology available. Because Ion Torrent produces its proprietary semiconductor chips in standard CMOS factories, it leverages the $1 trillion investment that has been made in the semiconductor industry. Ion Torrent uniquely and directly benefits from four decades of exponential improvement in semiconductor technology, expressed as Moore's Law. Ion Torrent will launch the Ion Personal Genome Machine sequencer in 2010. Ion Torrent is based in Guilford, Conn., with an office in South San Francisco. For more information about Ion Torrent, visit

SOURCE Ion Torrent
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