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BGI Buys 37 of Life Tech's Ion Proton Sequencers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – China's BGI said it has purchased 37 of Life Technologies' Ion Proton next-generation sequencing systems and will add at least 12 more machines by the end of the year.

Additionally, Shenzhen, China-based BGI said it has signed a supply and licensing agreement with Life Tech.

BGI will use the Proton for exome and transcriptome sequencing, as well as aneuploidy testing, according to a statement. The institution has already validated the Proton's PI chip, delivering 80 million reads in two- to three-hour sequencing runs.

"It is flexible and affordable, so we can quickly deploy it in many satellite labs around the world for all applications," BGI Director Jun Wang said in a statement. "The Ion Proton is also very fast, enabling us to provide our customers and partners results in days, not weeks, which is extremely important for clinical research applications."

BGI is also Illumina's largest customer, and runs over 100 of its HiSeq 2000 machines in its Shenzhen and Hong Kong facilities. In March, the Chinese genomics institute completed the purchase of whole-genome sequencing service provider Complete Genomics for $118 million.