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Belgium's DNAVision Buys Illumina HiScanSQ to Upgrade Array, Sequencing Services


By Justin Petrone

DNAVision, a Gosselies, Belgium-based genetic analysis-service provider, this week said it has purchased Illumina's HiScanSQ microarray and high-throughput sequencing platform.

San Diego-based Illumina began shipping the HiScanSQ last month. The instrument includes a HiScan Reader for microarray scanning and an SQ module that enables genomic-scale sequencing (BAN 5/4/2010). Using the system, researchers can move between either applications, using sequencing to follow up on variants identified in an array-based study, or using arrays to associate variants discovered with sequencing across a population, the company has said.

DNAVision CEO Jean-Pol Detiffe told BioArray News this week that the company will use the HiScanSQ for its pharmaceutical and medical research customers' ongoing genome-wide association projects.

"We have quite a lot of demand to reanalyze new variants detected with [next-gen sequencing] using high-throughput microarrays," Detiffe said. "The main asset for us is that we have two applications in one."

DNAVision already offers microarray services on Illumina's iScan system and sequencing services on the company's high-throughput HiSeq2000 instrument. The addition of the HiScanSQ will give the service provider "bigger throughput, better flexibility, and backup in case of problems," Detiffe said.

DNAVision expects the HiScanSQ, which has a list price of $400,000, to arrive for installation in late June. In addition to the HiScanSQ and HiSeq2000, DNAVision also offers sequencing services on the Illumina GA IIx and Roche 454 FLX. The company is certified to offer microarray services on the Illumina, Agilent Technologies, and Affymetrix platforms.

While demand for sequencing services is increasing, DNAVision's microarray services business is still strong, Detiffe said. "For sure, there will be a shift to [next-gen sequencing], but we still see a lot of demand for microarrays and we think that there are still four or five years of business [left] using these tools."