By Julia Karow
Illumina said this week that it has delayed the shipment start date for its iScan sequencing module from the end of this year to the second quarter of 2010.
The delay allows the company to improve the performance of the so-called Harmonia module, according to Illumina President and CEO Jay Flatley, who spoke at the UBS Global Life Sciences conference in New York this week.
The sequencing module uses the same sequencing chemistry as the company’s Genome Analyzer and the iScan Reader of its iScan array system. Illumina previously said that the add-on is a low-cost alternative for existing array customers who want to do sequencing but do not need the throughput of the Genome Analyzer (see In Sequence 5/5/2009).
The system is now expected to reach 20 to 30 percent of the throughput and 60 percent of the read length of the Genome Analyzer, Flatley said, referring to the planned performance of the GA by the end of 2009.
According to the new performance specifications, the iScan sequencing module will generate more than 20 gigabases of sequence data per run, or more than 3 gigabases per day; produce between 130 million and 200 million sequence tags per run; and generate 2 x 75-base paired-end reads.
Previously, the instrument was expected to generate more than 3 gigabases of data per run or 300 megabases per day; produce 40 million tags per run; and have a read length of 2x50 bases, according to Flatley.
Though it will ship later than expected, it will be “a much more viable and appropriate product in the marketplace,” he said.