DNA sequencing equipment maker Life Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ:LIFE) announced the launch of its Ion Personal Gene Machine (PGM) sequencer that gives results in two hours.
The sequencer, which augments Life Technologies’ broad portfolio of DNA sequencing instruments, is shipping to select sites in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, the company said.
The PGM was developed by Ion Torrent, which Life Technologies bought recently for $375 million to boost its position in the lucrative gene sequencing market. In August, Life Technologies said the combined companies' new gene sequencing equipment will be available at an entry cost of less than $100,000.
Sequence data is produced in minutes rather than days, potentially enabling important applications, including infectious disease monitoring and molecular pathology.
Life Technologies has a legacy of democratizing new technologies, and the speed and low cost of semiconductor-based technology will bring DNA sequencing into new areas we can’t even imagine, said Gregory Lucier, chief executive of Life Technologies.
There are other number of competing companies offering DNA sequencing equipment including: Nasdaq-listed Illumina Inc. and emerging potential competitors Pacific Biosciences and Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd.
The DNA sequencing market is expected to grow to more than $3.6 billion by 2014 from $1.2 billion in 2009, according to market research firm Scientia Advisors. The growth is expected to be driven by higher demand for sequencing products from academic institutions, reference labs and genomics service providers, pharmaceutical companies and agriculture biology, or AgBio, companies.
DNA sequencing is most frequently used to determine genome sequence and its advent has significantly accelerated biological research and discovery. DNA sequencing has become an important part in medical research, disease treatment and in various applied fields such as diagnostic, biotechnology and forensic biology.
Shares of Life Technologies closed Monday’s regular trading 1.52 percent higher at $53.56.