Technology will quadruple HudsonAlpha’s DNA sequencing capacity to help genomic information reach thousands of patients
Huntsville, Ala. — December 12, 2014 — HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology today announced it has purchased the HiSeq X Ten sequencing system manufactured by Illumina, Inc. (NASDQ: ILMN). The technology will enable HudsonAlpha to produce and analyze genomic data faster and at a lower cost. The purchase stems from the Institute’s commitment to research programs for genomics excellence in patient care.
The HiSeq X Ten provides unprecedented capacity, speed and accuracy for sequencing individuals’ entire genetic make-up or DNA — their “whole genome.” HudsonAlpha will integrate the HiSeq X Ten into its current high-volume production environment at its Genomic Services Laboratory. The technology will make it possible for HudsonAlpha to produce and analyze genomic data on timescales and at a cost that are relevant to enable routine human whole genome sequencing. .
Genomic information is widely recognized as transformative for diagnosing and treating diseases, as hospitals and healthcare organizations use genetic testing to determine proper treatment regimens for patients. Hundreds of families have benefitted from a genetic diagnosis for disorders that previously went undiagnosed. Genomic information gets to the heart of diseases and medical disorders and can help guide patients to highly effective treatments that other medical technologies may miss. People’s interest in family history, genealogy and services offering direct-to-consumer genetic testing indicate society’s readiness for genomic information to become standard-of-care.
“People are inherently curious and concerned about their health and that of their families,” said Richard M. Myers, president of HudsonAlpha. “Most of us wouldn’t trade our health for anything, and the HiSeq X Ten sequencing system will help HudsonAlpha continue to produce data that can reveal the genetic causes of inherited diseases and advance our understanding of complex disorders.”
Myers noted that ten years after the completion of the first human genome reference, the world is only now scratching the surface of change that genomics can bring to medicine. “With our organization’s roots in the Human Genome Project, we know intimately how important a deep understanding of technology is to articulating the best scientific questions and interpreting the massive amount of data that sequencing generates,” Myers added. “We work hard at being ‘meaning-makers’ of genomic data.”
HudsonAlpha’s investment reflects its plan to expand its position as a highly valued research partner providing genomic data analysis and interpretation with exceptional genomic data quality. Last year, HudsonAlpha analyzed more than 2,500 whole human genomes, and the HiSeq X Ten will help its genomic scientists and educators better communicate how genomic information can be incorporated into patient care and treatment. In addition to continuing their robust research arm, HudsonAlpha was recently approved by the federal government to accept clinical samples for sequencing and return the results directly to physicians.
“HudsonAlpha’s special relationships with leading technology companies as their early-adopter, co-developer, or beta-tester mean that we can bring the best healthcare innovations to doctors and patients seeking answers,” said Shawn Levy, director of HudsonAlpha’s Genomic Services Laboratory. “We work hard to ensure HudsonAlpha scientists and its partners remain at the forefront of innovation in medicine.”
About HudsonAlpha: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a genomic science and applications nonprofit organization. It is both a high-volume genomic data producer serving hundreds of academic, clinical, and commercial clients’ needs and a global scientific collaborator valued for its genomic data analysis and interpretation to solve some of the most pressing questions in cancer, undiagnosed disease, neuro-psychiatric disorders, immune-mediated disease, agriculture, and public health. Its unique 152-acre campus melds the boundaries between nonprofit scientists, educators, and commercial business people so that collaboration sparks innovation and growth.