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  • First info on the miniSeq

    Hello all

    It is with great pleasure that I share some info on the miniSeq, which will be oficially launched by mr. Steve Gordon, CEO of IBS, on March 20th, at ABRF.

    This instrument was designed with a high degree of automation, and its specially designed for diagnostic applications.

    I would invite you to visit our blog and share any comments you find pertinent:

    http://maxseqinstallation.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    How is it faster or cheaper or just generally better than a Miseq or Iontorrent?

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    • #3
      miniSeq comparison

      Originally posted by GW_OK View Post
      How is it faster or cheaper or just generally better than a Miseq or Iontorrent?
      Hello GW

      The main difference between the miniSeq and other similar instruments is the degree of automation built into the instrument. If you check the blog (http://maxseqinstallation.blogspot.com/) you will be able to see a schematic view of the carousel used in the instrument that will enable you to use up to 16 independent and asynchronously accessible flow cells. You can even prioritize a flow cell over the others if you need to. There is also a built in barcode reader for sample traceability, which is important when using these instruments for diagnostic applications.

      If you have any other questions, just let me know. I can be reached here, by E-mail ([email protected]) or by Twitter (ezequiel_coelho).

      Have a great day!

      Ezequiel

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      • #4
        How much for the insturment?
        How many bp per $?
        Read accuaracy?
        Read length?
        Time per run?

        Answer those or nobody will care.

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        • #5
          I'm always impressed by the innocence of some industry types (if we can call this an industry). No one in 2012 can claim to survive a global economy with such product, I'm sorry to say.

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          • #6
            Hello again.

            I will post all the questions here shortly.
            About the survival, Elcannibal (by the way, you have a very suggestive name): Why do you think that is so? Do you believe fluorescence technologies are dead just because something else is coming? Illumina would disagree with you, and besides, you never know if these things aren't being developed to be adapted later, do you?

            Best regards

            Ezequiel

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            • #7
              I meant: "I will post all the answers".

              Sorry for the mistake

              Ezequiel

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              • #8
                Some of these data are present on the linked website people :

                http://www.azcobiotech.com/instruments/maxseq.php

                100GB per run max
                35 and 55bp reads apparently.

                One question about the name though : is it any relation to the Polonator which turned up a few years ago and hasn't been used too much (as far as I know) ?

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                • #9
                  Hello Colin

                  Thanks. That link points to the webpage of the MaxSeq. The miniSeq is another product. It still uses SBS chemistry, but the automation level is totally different. Its called the mini basically because the throughput is lower than the MaxSeq.
                  About the read lenght: the MaxSeq can read 100bp fragments as well. Its just a matter of using 2 55bp kits. Nevertheless, the throughput is already much higher than 100GB per run.
                  The polonator was a product developed entirely at the Church lab, at Harvard. It used sequencing by ligation and only polonies for library construction. The MaxSeq uses some of the ideas from the polonator (hardware part only) but has been optimized to work with Sequencing by synthesis and to allow both polony and DNA nanoballs library construction methods. The mini is a totally different instrument at the automation level, so it has little to do with the polonator.

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                  • #10
                    Ezekiel, do not take my words too personnal. I do not want to engage about the technology, the reality is that sequencing is now a commodity. It's about global forecast, massive manufacturing, on time production, marketing overflow, cost control, buffer QC, batch control and cut throat prices. It can also be about a short term price for a short term pateform... I am not sure, as much as anyone would boost NGS, how big is the pie of the market... Do you remember the megabases and the basestations out there... It seems now, people will simply listen to 'disruptive' or stick to Pepsi or Coke... All the best, I just look at setting up a global sequencing tool company and think that it's one hell of a challenge to go up against the big boys, certainly more than seqanswer blogging of an install...

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                    • #11
                      Hi, Elcannibal.
                      Don’t worry, I won’t. We do understand its a major challenge to face the big guys (Illumina and LIFE) but the truth is we believe we now have something that is differentiating in the market. I personally don’t like to use the word disruptive, simply because that is a very short lived one (that is, what’s disruptive today is not disruptive anymore tomorrow). And besides, the word disruptive has been used so many times lately, with not so good results, that people are becoming suspicious of anyone using it. As such, if manufacturers keep on claiming this for their technology, this will end up doing more harm than good, simply because the market will start ignoring everyone with new stuff and turn only to (as you said) coke and pepsi (the microprocessor industry is a good example of this).

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                      • #12
                        I take it that the miniseq uses a carrousel to rotate the flow cells between different stations (an outline was shown some time ago on your blog). In these stations, several steps of the sequencing are performed in parallel. Although this is a novel, time-saving design, wouldn't this create problems keeping the optics in focus? Also, does the miniseq already offer SBS with rolonies? ePCR with beads doesn't scale very well (especially in volume) as we know from other platforms...

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                        • #13
                          Unfortunately, technology has very little impact now. People ae interested in global presence, B2B purchases, local service, application support and support from Minnesota to Mumbai... That's the world we live in and I am always impressed when I see very rational scientists think that a company can survive making a single product. In fact a company cannot survive selling thousands and thousands of PCR machines as a sole product... what is left for sequencing then ? Not very much, even the big boys are actually scrambling knowing they are heading towards a full contraction of volume... Yeah, cheers because we can do more but believe me, they are cutting and slashing big time to make up for that falling forecast in consumable sales. The volume is simply not making up for the price drops, it's last man standing. This is why I would wisely look at Roche if I were ILMN... The time is now... That stock will simply not go back up again and, well, everyone wants to be a publicly traded company it seems...

                          All NGS companies coming up, from Gnu to Oxford to Genia can only dream of being purchased before they can think of plan B. Plan B is dreadful, expensive and requires huge human ressources...

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                          • #14
                            Hello again, Elcannibal

                            Regarding the global presence, we have this as well, which is achievable by using a distributor channel. Regarding the single product: that is why we don’t have only 1 product. We are launching the second sequencer (actually introducing a new automation concept), but having other products as well, and with others in the pipeline.
                            About the changes happening in the sequencing business with the big guys, you are right. They will struggle with a reduction on sales volumes, and for LIFE, for example, even after selling 700 IT's last year (that’s $35M US revenue) that’s not enough to make up the money they spent on it. And Illumina is very likely not getting the numbers they wish they had with the MiSeq. That’s the advantage we have on being a bunch of small private companies. We are much more flexible and not tied to the need of large quarterly revenues just to keep investors happy. As for the new companies coming up, I believe sequencing still has a lot to go (just think about applying sequencing to the diagnostics market) so most of these companies will still be able to survive in the market for some time and hopefully do some good.

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                            • #15
                              I think you're underestimating how the market works: Maybe Life pulled in $35M in instrument sales during early access/initial launch, but you're not factoring in consumables, as this is where the profit is made. Remember, these are the people selling nuclease free water for $70/liter. Companies rarely profit off of instrument sales.

                              The giants also heavily stress test their platforms/reagents, putting them through product release cycles encompassing checkpoints, validations, early access etc. This also includes QA/QA, and large application and support groups. I can't forsee the success of the maxSeq or minSeq due to these factors, I really haven't seen proper development done. Life, Illumina, Roche, even Helicos had hundreds of people working on their platforms- unless you guys are in super secret stealth mode with sizable staff/funding, I can't be certain that this is a well developed, tested, and supported platform with good reagents. Hell, even Illumina sent out a quarter's worth of bad reagents.

                              I don't want to talk you down, or say that it isn't possible, but I just don't see how you're going to succeed in this market, competing against the giants of fluorophore (Illumina/Life), or the third gen revolution (Oxford/Ion/PacBio)? A slightly better fluorophore technology doesn't do much.

                              Also, I have a sneaking suspicion this platform was developed with a specific customer in mind, whose actual core technology has nothing to do with fluorophores. Am I correct?

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