With the acquisition of Intelligent Biosystems in 2012, Qiagen became a sequencing platform company. Their upcoming platform, the GeneReader, is based on the IBS Mini-20. Originally slated to launch in late 2012, the GeneReader didn’t reach the market until November 2015. Like the original, it is based on multiple independently addressable flow cells, each presumably capable of producing around 2 Gb of sequence per run. However, unlike the original, they are now saying the first machine will have a carrousel of six flow cells instead of 20, although an upgrade to 20 will be available.
Qiagen has been pretty quiet about most output specifications, even saying that those asking about read lengths and error rates are focusing on the wrong things. What they have been clear about is their focus on creating a true end-to-end workflow. They already have the QiaCube to handle DNA extraction, target selection and library prep. They’re working on the QiaCube NGS which will handle library amplification and bead enrichment. On the data analysis side they’ve acquired two leading companies in this space – CLC bio and Ingenuity. CLC bio covers alignment and assembly of the data while Ingenuity covers annotation of the data. Once they launch GeneReader they’ll have the entire workflow – sample/library prep, sequencing, secondary analysis and tertiary analysis. However, as of mid-2019, the system appears to be “research use only”.
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