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454 GS Junior Drives 1 Percent Growth in Roche's Sequencing, Array Business in Q1


By Julia Karow

This article, originally published April 14, has been updated with a comment from 454 Life Sciences.

Roche's sequencing and microarray business grew about 1 percent in the first quarter, driven by "strong market uptake" of the 454 GS Junior, which was launched last May, the company said last week.

"We are pleased with the rapid adoption of the GS Junior System in the market," a 454 Life Sciences spokesperson told In Sequence. "We have placed hundreds of GS Junior instruments in laboratories worldwide."

In addition, the company is seeing "widespread interest" in the extra-long reads for the GS FLX that 454 plans to launch sometime before the end of June. These will increase the system's read length to 750 bases and beyond.

Applied Science, one of five business areas of Roche's diagnostics division, posted CHF 198 million ($222 million) in revenue for the first quarter, a 3-percent decline in local currencies that the firm said is related to a large one-time order of MagNA Pure and LightCycler instruments for H1N1 influenza testing in the year-ago period.

Genomic analysis revenues, which include revenue from both 454 Life Sciences and Roche NimbleGen, grew 1 percent during the quarter, to just under CHF 50 million ($56 million), according to information provided as part of Roche's first-quarter earnings presentation.

During the quarter, Roche launched HLA-typing primer sets for the GS FLX and GS Junior, and said recently that it has other targeted sequencing assays for its sequencing instruments in development (CSN 4/5/2011). All of these assays will initially be for research use only.

Have topics you'd like to see covered in In Sequence? Contact the editor at jkarow [at] genomeweb [.] com.

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