First announced in November 2003, the BeadStation 500G has been tested extensively at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where Nelson Freimer, MD, and his research team performed genetic linkage mapping analysis on 288 samples using Illumina's high-multiplex GoldenGate(TM) assay and Sentrix(R) Array of Arrays(TM) platforms, integral components of the BeadStation offering.
"Using the standard protocol and GoldenGate assay reagents, we were able to generate and score nearly a million genotypes using our own DNA samples plus over half a million genotypes on CEPH control DNA very rapidly," stated Dr. Freimer. "We have been impressed not only with the speed of data generation but also with the accuracy and reproducibility of the genotype calls and the very low dropout rate," added Freimer. "Our analysis of this screen is ongoing and we look forward to publishing our findings."
Depending on throughput requirements and study design, investigators using the 500G can analyze samples on either of two complementary, bead-based array platforms: the 16-sample Sentrix BeadChip and the 96-sample Sentrix Array Matrix. For example, an individual researcher can easily prepare and process eight BeadChips per day, the equivalent of roughly 200,000 genotypes, with low running costs per SNP. The BeadStation 500G supports fixed-set genotyping products such as Illumina's Linkage Mapping Panel and Fine Mapping Panels as well as custom SNP projects.
"The BeadStation 500G will enable individual researchers and core laboratories to significantly expand their sample throughput while gaining the genotyping accuracy and cost benefits that approximate those currently available only on Illumina's production-scale BeadLab," stated Jay Flatley, Illumina President and CEO. "Customers in any size lab will now have access to the power of Illumina's BeadArray(TM) technology and be able to use it with current and future products in our growing portfolio," Flatley added.
The 500G is a scalable system, with the planned future availability of liquid handling robotics for automated sample processing. By installing additional software, the 500G can easily be upgraded to a BeadStation 500GX to enable gene expression profiling, thereby creating a solution that supports both DNA and RNA analysis. 500G production shipments commenced at the end of the first quarter and included two systems for which revenue was recognized in the quarter. Pricing for the BeadStation 500G begins at approximately $250K.
The commercialization of the 500G is a further example of Illumina's strategy to build a comprehensive offering of scalable, multi-application systems. At the foundation of our systems are the Sentrix Array Matrix, the Sentrix BeadChip, the BeadArray Reader and our Oligator(R) DNA synthesis capability. The BeadStation system addresses moderate-throughput requirements and complements Illumina's production-scale BeadLab. Both systems can be scaled in multiple dimensions, providing customers the flexibility to perform SNP genotyping or gene expression experiments on the same platform, with content ranging from whole genomes to focused sets, at various levels of throughput and automation.
Illumina (www.illumina.com) is developing next-generation tools that permit large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function. The Company's proprietary BeadArray technology -- now used in leading genomics centers around the world -- provides the throughput, cost effectiveness and flexibility to enable researchers in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries to perform the billions of tests necessary to extract medically valuable information from advances in genomics and proteomics. This information will help pave the way to personalized medicine. For more information about the BeadStation 500G, visit http://www.illumina.com/systems_workstations.htm.
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: this release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Among the important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are Illumina's ability to manufacture Sentrix BeadChips in a robust and cost-effective manner, to modify the GoldenGate assay protocol, to fully develop its BeadArray and Oligator technologies, the Company's ability to successfully build international sales and support organizations to install and service its laboratory facilities at customer locations and other factors detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its recent filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q or in information disclosed in public conference calls, the date and time of which are released beforehand. Illumina disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements beyond the date of this release.