NEW YORK – With the new G4 sequencing-by-synthesis platform, due out in the second quarter, Singular Genomics is planning to take Illumina head-on in the mid-throughput benchtop sequencing market. In addition to discussing the technology and its performance, CEO Drew Spaventa talked about ways the company has continued to advance the platform in his presentation at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference on Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier this week, the San Diego-based company announced deals to make sample preparation and library preparation kits from Twist Bioscience, Lexogen, New England BioLabs, Watchmaker Genomics, and Dovetail Genomics compatible with its platform, taking into account the nuances of its workflow.
Singular also recently partnered with the Broad Institute to integrate the Terra data platform with the G4. "This is another offering that helps us make it easy for customers, to provide a plug-and-play solution where people can do computing, data storage, or data sharing with a seamlessly integrated cloud solution for the data flowing directly off our sequencer," Spaventa said.
He also provided an update on the G4 early-access program. The fourth site, a government core lab doing microbial genome sequencing, has achieved 169 million reads per flow cell with accuracy in the range of 99.7 percent to 99.9 percent, he said, with 80 percent of the bases having a quality score above Q30. A fifth site, a commercial contract research organization, is currently using the G4 for liquid biopsy assays and a sixth site, a commercial clinical lab, is pending.
Singular plans to launch several G4 consumables kits later this year. In addition to the HD-seq kit for high-accuracy rare variant detection, the company will offer XR-seq, which it describes as a product for "medium-range targeted sequencing" of regions between 500 bp and 3 kb, such as antibody VDJ regions or bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA. The product is not intended to compete with long-read sequencing, cofounder and CSO Eli Glezer said during the Q&A session. The larger F3 flow cell, meanwhile, which will offer output of 100 Gb, is still on track to come out in the fourth quarter.
The G4x4, a four-instrument configuration designed to address customers with the highest sequencing output demands, is also scheduled for launch before the end of the year. "We'll have different pricing structure for the 4x4 for customers that will really allow people to knock cost down," Spaventa said, adding that, in general, larger accounts will have access to volume discounts for all reagents.
Initially, Singular will focus its direct sales efforts in the US. A second phase will target Europe and the UK before the firm plans to reach out to the rest of the world. The company is open to providing instruments on leases or reagent rentals, said Dalen Meeter, senior VP of finance. "We recognize we're a new entrant into the market, and we’ll have to be flexible when it comes to customers and what they’re looking for." Still, most prospective customers are used to the traditional razor and blade business model, he said, and have been engaging with the company on those terms.
While Singular is focused on bringing the G4 to market, it continues work on the PX instrument, a multiomics platform that will offer in situ sequencing and single-cell and spatial analysis capabilities. Spaventa said the company plans to launch it in 2023 but will bring up beta instruments by the middle of this year, followed by an early-access program before the end of the year.