Illumina Unveils the Industry Leading Sequencing Technology at CIIE 2020
With a synchronized global and China launch of its leading DNA sequencing products, the company focuses on long-term growth to support the strategic development of China's biotechnology industry
· The industry leading sequencing technology debut at CIIE
· Illumina Greater China, headquartered in Shanghai, continues to increase its investment in the Chinese market, further assisting the development of China's healthcare and biological industries and improving the health of Chinese people
· Illumina continues striving to introduce industry-leading technologies and products, empowering China's biological gene industry ecosystem
November 4, 2020, Shanghai, China—Illumina, a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, unveiled a full line of DNA sequencing products at the 3rd China International Import Expo (hereinafter referred to as “CIIE”), which included the debut of its industry leading sequencing technology sequencing products. In consideration of the continuing epidemic prevention and control measures, a "Public Health Epidemic Prevention Zone" was established for the first time, emphasizing the importance of medical and public health infrastructure. This year, Illumina's leading next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology has provided key technical support in the global fight against the pandemic, enabling scientists around the world to work together and jointly promote the discovery, monitoring, traceability, prevention, treatment and research of COVID-19. Illumina's sequencing platform was used by a Chinese scientists’ team who were among the first to publish the gene sequence of the novel coronavirus at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Another scientist team led by Prof. Xie Xiaoliang also used Illumina's platform to screen effective antibodies against the novel coronavirus during the process of developing the vaccine. In addition, Illumina's product display at CIIE also includes NovaSeq™ 6000 which previously was used in the novel coronavirus mutation study by Prof. Li Lanjuan's team, and NextSeq™ 550 which was used in source tracing research of Xinfadi coronavirus.
“COVID-19 has swept across the world, unleashing monumental challenges to countries everywhere,” said Li Qing, Global Vice President and General Manager of Illumina Greater China. “Since the outbreak, the Chinese government has taken proactive measures to prevent and control the epidemic, effectively curbing its spread. In this context, the successful preparation and hosting of this event is an enormous achievement, highlighting the determination and ability of the government and organizer. Since entering the Chinese market in 2005, Illumina has witnessed the country’s opening up and reform, as well as the continuous improvement of the Chinese market’s business environment, which has provided excellent conditions for the global development of multinational companies. It is the first time that Illumina has participated in CIIE, and we are committed to showcasing our industry leading sequencing technology and products and providing various services to Chinese customers and buyers. The 21st century is the century of life science, and the development of biotechnology has become one of China’s national strategies, in the objective to improve people’s livelihoods. Since our founding, Illumina has upheld its corporate mission of ‘improving human health through the power of the genome’. In the future, we will continue to spare no effort in empowering China’s DNA industry ecosystem and supporting related technologies in China, further promoting the long-term development of China’s health industry and ultimately improving the health of Chinese people."
Founded in 1998 and headquartered in San Diego, California, Illumina has more than 7,800 employees worldwide and provides products and services to customers in 115 countries and regions. In the 2019 fiscal year, its global revenue reached USD $3.5 billion, of which R&D investment accounted for 18%. Through continuous innovation, the company has developed a comprehensive genomics portfolio, including DNA sequencers, microarray scanner, consumables and analysis tools. With every technological breakthrough, Illumina is helping scientists around the world explore and uncover the genetic world. Its products are widely used in life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, infectious diseases, agriculture and other emerging fields.
China is one of Illumina’s most important markets in the world. Since entering the Chinese market in 2005, the company has continuously accelerated its localization process. In 2019, its new Greater China headquarters was set up in Shanghai’s Caohejing Development Zone. The new headquarters span over 5,000 square meters, and includes a customer experience center covering a full range of products and solutions. In the same year, the company built a new Chinese distribution center in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. In China, Illumina is assisting in the rapid development of the country’s scientific research and clinical fields by continuously introducing innovative technologies and solutions. Illumina extensively cooperates with domestic partners and customers and is committed to jointly developing services and products that meet the needs of the Chinese market. The meaning of its new Chinese brand name is to “Include the wisdom of all people, unlock the power of genome and explore the human life”.
With phenomenal power and design, a look at the industry's leading DNA sequencer
As one of the highlights of CIIE this year, Illumina has brought the industry's leading high-throughput sequencing product family series, giving many exhibitors the opportunity to see the mysterious DNA sequencers for themselves. The exhibits at the Illumina booth include the iSeq™ 100, MiSeq™, NextSeq™ 550, NovaSeq™ 6000 and the new NextSeq™ 2000 launched in 2020, demonstrating its comprehensive genomics portfolio that includes integrated sequencing systems, consumables and analysis tools. The products can be applied to different scenarios such as life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, infectious diseases, agriculture and other emerging fields.
In 1990, the Human Genome Project was officially launched. Scientists all over the world joined hands to launch this pioneering human initiative, which opened up a whole new era of life sciences. Illumina has long been committed to continuously improving DNA sequencing through technological innovation and reducing sequencing costs to meet the growing demands of scientific research, medicine and applications. Today, more than 15,000 Illumina sequencing platforms have been put into use in countries around the world, while more than 250,000 documents are based on data generated by its sequencing technology.
· The NextSeq™ 2000 sequencing platform is a new benchtop sequencer released by Illumina in 2020, which boasts superb power and a sleek design. The NextSeq™ 2000 possesses more than 75 technological innovations, boosting speed and quality while reducing the cost of sequencing. The integrated sequencing platform and advanced genome analysis accelerator establish a powerful and streamlined workflow. It is also able to realize integrated one-step sampling and operate without post-run washing because of a dry system. The NextSeq™ 2000’s innovative technologies meet Chinese customers' laboratory deployment requirements at various scales and scenarios, thus empowering Chinese scientists to continuously uncover breakthroughs in scientific research.
· The NovaSeq™ 6000 sequencing platform is by far Illumina’s most powerful sequencing platform. The improved chemical method and computing architecture breaks through the conventional upper limits of sequencing throughput. It was launched in the Chinese market in 2017, at the same time as the rest of the world. The NovaSeq™ 6000 is driving great advances in genomics thanks to its flexibility and scalability, guiding unprecedented, comprehensive research. It enables high-resolution, single-cell analysis and tumor atlas creation, as well as developing liquid biopsies and large-scale sequencing. Its breakthrough sequencing capabilities allow researchers to carry out large-scale projects on the genome with a larger sample size and greater breadth and depth. Up to 48 genomes can be sequenced per run. The NovaSeq™ 6000's superior performance and lower unit sequencing costs have significantly accelerated global genomics research, enabling more people to benefit from precision medicine.
· The iSeq™ 100 sequencing platform is the smallest product in Illumina’s product line, breaking through the limitations of traditional application scenarios and achieving the goal of “portable” sequencing. The iSeq™ 100 combines the company's mature sequencing-by-synthesis (SBS) technology and complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) detection technology to generate high-precision data while significantly improving convenience and maintainability.
· The MiSeq™ sequencing platform is the industry's first benchtop sequencer, provided by Illumina. Its miniaturized fluid system enables the sequencer to break through the limitations of volume. In 2018, the MiSeq™ Dx sequencing system became the company's first imported next-generation sequencing system approved by the China National Medical Products Administration for clinical use.
· The NextSeq™ 550 sequencing platform is a benchtop sequencer that leverages the powerful functions of high-throughput sequencing, breaking through the limitations of traditional applications and making exome, transcriptome and whole genome sequencing a part of everyday research. In addition to sequencing, it can also scan the array. This universal and flexible sequencing platform allows researchers to easily switch between different applications to support projects of different scales.
While actively introducing sequencing platforms, Illumina is also committed to providing more complete laboratory solutions. From the acquisition of Epicentre in 2011 for introducing Nextera™ technology and enhancing NGS library preparation capabilities to the acquisition of Edico Genome and the introduction of its DRAGEN™ Bio-IT platform in May 2018 to strengthen its data analysis capabilities, Illumina is providing its users with genomic data analysis solutions and management in a safe, fast and efficient manner, thus widening the applications of DNA sequencing products and meeting the increasingly diversified needs of Chinese customers.
Building a “Healthy China” though science and technology: A multi-field cooperation ecosystem to propel the country’s scientific research and clinical development
China is the world's second-largest economy and the world's most populous country. The yearning for health, longevity and a better life is the common aspiration of every Chinese person. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and especially since its reform and opening up, China has made extraordinary achievements in the field of economic development and health. In 2016, the State Council issued the Outline of the "Healthy China 2030" Plan, which paves the way for the healthy development of the Chinese population. In the same year, China launched a precision medicine program, the research results of which will benefit millions of Chinese people. The "Biosafety Law of the People's Republic of China" passed by the National People's Congress in 2020 is set to further promote the healthy and orderly development of China's biotechnology field and better respond to biosafety risks while ensuring people’s safety.
With the joint promotion of policies, laws and the market, China's biotechnology industry is well on the way to ushering in historical opportunities for rapid development. Above all, DNA sequencing technology will enjoy wider and more in-depth applications in the scientific research and clinical fields. Illumina continues to empower genomics research in this process, increasing investment in the Chinese market, focusing on building a local ecosystem and actively promoting the development of China's biological gene industry. The company has long cooperated with domestic partners as well.
· Malignant tumor is one of major threats to people’s health. China has millions of new tumor patients each year that tumor becomes a huge burden for their families and even the society. To achieve the goal of overall cancer survival rates no less than 46.6% by 2030 set in “Healthy China Action”, tumor precision medicine is indispensable along with prevention, as well as early screening and diagnosis. In tumor detection, Illumina offers complete solutions and cutting-edge genetic testing products. Over the years, Illumina has established in-depth cooperation with a number of local Chinese tumor detection companies to jointly develop tumor molecular diagnostic products for Chinese patients and help realize tumor precision medicine, benefiting broad Chinese patients.
In 2018, Burning Rock’s cancer detection product based on Illumina’s sequencing platform was approved by Chinese National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), which becomes China's first NGS in vitro diagnostic product, indicating NGS testing for tumor officially enters testing departments in clinical hospitals. Later, Geneseeq and AmoyDx also had their products jointly developed with Illumina for Chinese market cleared by the regulator. In recent years, with the development of tumor molecular diagnosis and the early tumor screening market, many Chinese companies have planned or succeeded to go public. In their endeavor, Illumina has stood as an unwavering partner and pillar of support.
· Infectious diseases and microbiology have attracted considerable global attention given the COVID-19 pandemic. Illumina has long regarded pathogenic microorganisms as one of the most important areas for research and development worldwide. In the global fight against COVID-19, its leading sequencing technology is providing comprehensive technical support for the tracking, real-time monitoring and tracing of COVID-19, as well as guiding therapy and vaccine development. As of July, more than 55 laboratories in China have used NGS technology to publish the COVID-19 gene sequence on various platforms, with more than 80% of the overall research leveraging this platform. In August of this year, Illumina and the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center established a R&D center for pathogenic microorganism research and application, which will accelerate research and lay the foundation for a new era of biosafety, anchored in this next-generation sequencing technology.
· Awareness of rare and genetic diseases is broadening around the world. Today, there are more than 7,000 known rare diseases, while China has more than 20 million patients with rare diseases. This means that rare diseases in China aren’t that rare, and most of these diseases are related to genetic factors. In rare disease detection, Illumina has worked with many Chinese partners to promote research, diagnosis and treatment in the field of undiagnosed rare genetic diseases by leveraging leading DNA sequencing technologies. By providing customers with highly operable, efficient and convenient detection solutions, Illumina has greatly shortened the medical treatment process. In recent years, the rapid development of NGS technology has dramatically increased clinical efficiency, boosting testing capacity for applications such as disease-gene-phenotype, exome and family-based exome sequencing from 10-15% to 30-40%.
Since entering the Chinese market, Illumina has established extensive cooperation on whole-genome sequencing with hospitals and research institutions, such as the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation of China, the Chinese Medical Geneticists Association, the Children's Hospital of Fudan University, the Xinhua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine and Xiangya Hospital of Central South University. The cooperation has helped accelerate the diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases, save cost and optimize medical decision-making.
· With more than 10 million newborns each year, prenatal and postnatal care has always been an important national policy to promoting social development and improving population quality. In reproductive health, Illumina boasts industry-leading genome solutions and strategically cooperates with Chinese partners on stable and reliable sequencing platforms to address genetic health problems that span the entire life cycle, from pre-pregnancy to pregnancy to birth and post-partum.
In 2015, Berry Genomics received clearance from the Chinese National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) for the NextSeq™ CN500 sequencer, produced together with Illumina, well meeting China’s demands in reproductive health area. In 2017, Annoroad’s NextSeq 550AR and reagent kit jointly developed with Illumina were cleared by NMPA as well, responding to increasing demands in the Chinese clinical market. At the same time, Illumina is also participating in the formulation of expert consensus and group standards, including the "Beijing Expert Consensus on the Standardized Application of High-throughput Sequencing Technology in Clinical Testing (First Edition General Section)" and “Technical Standards for Non-invasive Prenatal Screening of Fetal Genomic Diseases Based on High-throughput Sequencing of Cell-free DNA in the Peripheral Blood of Pregnant Women”, actively promoting the dynamic, orderly development of the industry. Taking non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) as an example, Chinese partners have used Illumina's sequencing platform to complete more than six million tests and have screened more than 10,000 cases of fetuses with Down’s syndrome, saving society and families tens of billions in economic pressure and helping advance China's prenatal and postnatal care.
Over the years, Illumina has firmly adhered to its purpose of serving customers with its industry-leading solutions, excellent products and technologies, providing comprehensive support to the development of Chinese genomics. In the future, the company will continue to focus on the Chinese market and leverage its advantages in technology, products and resources to assist the construction of China's sanitation and health systems, promote the development of China's genetic testing industry and expand applications in the clinical market. Illumina is pleased to fully demonstrate its cutting-edge technologies and solutions at CIIE, as well as thoroughly explore opportunities for development and cooperation with local industries and partners in the shared goal to bring about the “Healthy China 2030 Plan”.
The non-specified technologies are for research use only (RUO), and should not be used for diagnostic purposes.
Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Our focus on innovation has established us as the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical and applied markets. Our products are used for applications in the life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture and other emerging segments. To learn more, visit www.illumina.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.
沈雁翎 Sam Shen
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