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Illumina, CombiMatrix


Illumina expects to launch its BeadStation 500G medium-scale genotyping instrument in the second quarter of 2004. The system, designed to match the throughput needs of individual research groups and core labs, will initially support a new high-density version of the company’s Sentrix 16HD BeadChip. This BeadChip can process 16 samples simultaneously and can interrogate as many as 1,536 SNP loci per sample.

The BeadStation 500G, which will cost around $250,000, comprises Illumina’s BeadArray Reader, analysis software, and GoldenGate assay reagents. By comparison, the full-size BeadLab costs between $1.5 million and $2 million and can produce as many as 1 million genotypes per day, Illumina said. The system is scalable and will be fitted in the future with liquid-handling robotics and LIMS options, Illumina said. Beta testing will wrap up in the first quarter of 2004, the firm said.

CombiMatrix will launch CustomArray in March 2004. The company plans to distribute the technology to beta customers in the current quarter.

CustomArrays require standard hybridization and can be read with most commercial fluorescent detection reader systems, CombiMatrix said. The products will initially be sold with 1,000 sites, and chips with 13,000 sites per 1cm2 will be released in the second quarter of 2004.

CombiMatrix said it will sell the CustomArray with no upfront subscription, special equipment, or design fees; with any genes or probe sequences; with any oligo length; with multiple genomes on the same chip; and with multiple oligo lengths on the same chip.

CombiMatrix also said it also plans to make available desktop array synthesizers for customers that want in-house array production capability. However, no date has been set.


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