Francis deSouza with NovaSeq X
Illumina CEO Francis deSouza unveils the NovaSeq X Series sequencing platforms.

San Diego-based genomics pioneer Illumina on Thursday introduced a new machine that will sequence a human genome in half a day for just $200.

The company’s NovaSeq X series was announced during the Illumina Genomics Forum at the San Diego Convention Center.

“Today’s announcement of NovaSeq X series and Illumina’s other breakthrough technologies is the culmination of more than five years of development, more than 40 patent filings, and the tenacity and talent of 1,500 of the world’s most brilliant scientists, engineers, developers, and designers on our team,” said Francis deSouza, Illumina’s chief executive officer.

“I’m thrilled to imagine how our customers, including scientists, researchers, and clinicians, will do more, discover more, and dream bigger as a result of these game-changing innovations,” he said.” Together, we will usher in the era of the genome and transform human health.”  

Illumina began selling the new machines Thursday and will ship them next year.

DNA sequencing has led to genetically targeted drugs, blood tests that can detect cancer early, and diagnoses for people with rare diseases. It was crucial in developing COVID-19 vaccines.

Illumina controls around 80% of the DNA sequencing market globally.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.