At the beginning of new year 2014 Illumina, Inc. presented two new instruments to its clients. First novelty is a NextSeq 500 desktop sequencer which is a perfect tool for every day usage. New optics, fluidics and chemistry allows Illumina to reduce price of high-throughput instruments and present a desktop sequencer NextSeq 500 at a price of $250,000 (€185,000).1 Company also says that NextSeq 500 will be able to generate about 120 Gb or 1 whole human genome at 30x per 30h. It is a high-throughput machine competing with Ion Proton, however, with limited capabilities and not able to compete with something like HiSeq. The good thing ís that smaller labs will now be able to truly enter a high-throughput NGS market. The clinical use of NGS is also materializing.

Second instrument added to Illumina’s porftolio and probably discussed the most is HiSeq X Ten sequencing system which is able to sequence human genome with 30x coverage for less than $10002 However, the price of $1000 (or €740) per sequence can be reached only when HiSeq X Ten is used at a scale as the system is specially designed for large scale human whole genome scale projects.

So what has to be taken into consideration? First of all, one machine costs $1M (€740,000) and you need 10 of those so it’s $10M (€7,4M) of forefront investment. Then you need to run the machines 24/7/365 for 4 years to get amortization costs down and $62M (€46M) operating budget . Also, you need to have 72,000 samples (or 18,000 a year) of human whole genome which is still pretty difficult to accomplish. 3

If you wish to compare the data of Illumina’s instruments, the information can be found here: http://www.illumina.com/systems/sequencing.ilmn

We can introduce some short comparison :

NextSeq 500MiSeqHiSeq 2500HiSeq X Ten
~ 185 000€~73 000€~515 000€~ 740 000 x10 = € 7,4M
120 Gb in 30 h15 Gb in 65 h1Tb in 6 days (144h)1.8Tb x10 = 18Tb in 72 hours
Comparison table

Different and some very critical opinions were expressed about these Illumina’s instruments. Apart from what has been said it is still only for the organisation to decide which platform meets their needs the best.

A thing to remember is that these costs do not include the data analysis and intepretation. When considering your budet you should remember to include other than machine costs which doubles your spendings. Data interpretation costs as well as your time can be reduced by choosing an analysis software which meets your needs.

  1. http://investor.illumina.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=121127&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1890697&highlight
  2. http://investor.illumina.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=121127&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1890696&highlight
  3. http://blog.allseq.com/1000-genome-72m
  4. http://www.allseq.com/knowledgebank/sequencing-platforms/illumina/

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