Life Technologies Launches New SOLiD Sequencer to Drive Advances in Cancer Biology and Genetic Disease Research

Superior Accuracy, Scalability, Efficiency and Productivity Accelerates Translational Research

5500xl SOLiD System - Transformative accuracy for translational research (Photo: Business Wire)

CARLSBAD, Calif.--()--Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE), a provider of innovative life science solutions, today announced the launch of the 5500xl SOLiD™ Sequencer, a new instrument designed to deliver the industry’s fastest and most accurate genomic data for cancer biology and genetic disease research.

Developed and manufactured with long-standing partner Hitachi High-Technologies, the 5500xl delivers on the promise of the SOLiD 4hq, which was first announced in January. Initial shipments of the 5500xl are planned for December 2010.

“The 5500xl represents a significant leap forward in next-generation sequencing,” said Mark Stevenson, Chief Operating Officer for Life Technologies. “We have revolutionized the biggest arsenal in our sequencing portfolio by evolving the instrument and the chemistries to better address the needs of translational researchers. Its unprecedented accuracy and rapid throughput make the 5500xl the ideal sequencing instrument for deciphering the genetic code of cancer, and paving the way for the future development of sequencing technologies for eventual use in clinical settings.”

The 5500xl SOLiD Sequencer enables the following:

  • High-quality basepair format data – The new Exact Call Chemistry (ECC) option enables single-read accuracy better than 99.99%. This high-accuracy data is essential for the detection of minor variants in heterogeneous samples, a critical area of importance in cancer research. Further, the data output is in standard base-pair format, allowing easier interface with third party tertiary data analysis tools.
  • Rapid and scaleable platform – The 5500xl SOLiD Sequencer utilizes a novel rapid-scan fluorescence detection system and will initially deliver 20 to 30Gb/day of DNA sequence. Two high quality human genomes, 24 whole exomes, or 12 whole transcriptomes can be processed in a single run. With high density nano-bead technology, planned for the second half of 2011, the system will deliver 30 to 45Gb/day, increasing capacity to three or more genomes per run and enabling higher coverage cancer genome sequencing.
  • Run flexibility and running cost – The SOLiD Microfluidic FlowChip allows one to six independent lanes to be run with two FlowChips. For rapid turn-around time a single lane can be completed in one day. The FlowChip uses very low volumes of sequencing reagents, allowing high throughput users to realize an initial cost of as little as $3,000 per genome.
  • Intuitive and ease-of-use interface – The 5500xl is a robust benchtop instrument with an integrated monitor and desktop computer. It contains a robotic reagent delivery system to track usage and provide quality check points across the entire workflow, leaving little room for errors. Real time data processing removes the need for a compute cluster and reduces the data footprint, speeding time to result and simplifying data handling.

Building off of customer feedback, the SOLiD 4hq and SOLiD PI programs were combined to develop a single, robust, easy-to-use platform for all researchers. Current SOLiD 4 System customers will be offered a cost-effective path to step up to the higher throughput 5500xl system. The SOLiD PI system will be replaced by the affordable 5500 SOLiD Sequencer.

“We are delighted to be a partner of the joint development and manufacturing of the 5500 and 5500xl SOLiD sequencers,” said Masaya Kojima, General Manager of the Strategic Planning Division, Analytical Sciences Business Group for Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation. “Our long standing relationship with Life Technologies speaks for itself, which started with their capillary electrophoresis (CE) 3100 sequencing business. This latest joint effort will surely bring another high-quality performance instrument into the next-generation sequencing arena.”

“We are looking forward to having the new 5500xl SOLiD Sequencers in our facility,” said Marco Marra, Ph.D., Director of the Genome Sciences Centre at the BC Cancer Agency. “Increased flexibility and accuracy in sequencing technology will improve our ability to identify and analyze novel mutations much more efficiently and accurately, significantly contributing to cancer research.”

The 5500 and 5500xl SOLiD sequencers represent Life Technologies’ latest offering in the sequencing market. Life Technologies is the leading global provider of genetic analysis technologies, and has the life science industry’s broadest portfolio of sequencing instruments, including the gold standard 3500 and 3500Dx Series Genetic Analyzers.

The 5500 and 5500xl SOLiD sequencers are for research use only, and not intended for animal or human therapeutic or diagnostic use. For more information please visit:

About Life Technologies (

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) is a global biotechnology tools company dedicated to improving the human condition. Our systems, consumables and services enable researchers to accelerate scientific exploration, driving to discoveries and developments that make life even better. Life Technologies customers do their work across the biological spectrum, working to advance personalized medicine, regenerative science, molecular diagnostics, agricultural and environmental research, and 21st century forensics. Life Technologies had sales of $3.3 billion in 2009, employs approximately 9,000 people, has a presence in approximately 160 countries, and possesses a rapidly growing intellectual property estate of approximately 3,900 patents and exclusive licenses. Life Technologies was created by the combination of Invitrogen Corporation and Applied Biosystems Inc., and manufactures both in-vitro diagnostic products and research use only-labeled products. For more information on how we are making a difference, please visit our website:

About Hitachi High-Technologies (

Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation (TOKYO: 8036) is a global company that has engaged in a broad range of fields, including bio-analytical & medical systems, electronic device systems, fine technology systems, industrial & IT systems and advanced industrial products. Hitachi High-Technologies is a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd. (TOKYO: 6501, NYSE: HIT). Founded in 1947, the headquarter is located in Tokyo and there are 24 offices in Japan and 56 offices in twenty-seven countries. The company’s consolidated sales were $6.6 billion in FY2009. For further information, please visit our website:

Life Technologies’ Safe Harbor Statement

This press release includes forward-looking statements about Life Technologies’ anticipated results that involve risks and uncertainties. Some of the information contained in this press release, including, but not limited to, statements as to industry trends and Life Technologies’ plans, objectives, expectations and strategy for its business, contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. When used, the words “believe,” “plan,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “target,” “estimate,” “expect” and the like, and/or future tense or conditional constructions (“will,” “may,” “could,” “should,” etc.), or similar expressions, identify certain of these forward-looking statements. Important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are detailed in filings made by Life Technologies with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Life Technologies undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

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Life Technologies Contact
Patty Zamora, 760-476-7818

Release Summary

Life Technologies today announced the launch of the 5500xl SOLiD™ Sequencer, a new instrument designed to deliver the industry's fastest and most accurate genomic data for cancer biology.


Life Technologies Contact
Patty Zamora, 760-476-7818