NextSeq 500 and HiSeq X Ten: New Tech Lowering Cost per Mbp

Jay Flatley’s announcement yesterday certainly changes calculations for whole genome sequencing. Newer, cheaper optics, fluidics and reagent chemistry have lowered the cost of sequencing and enabled a 300 cycle, 125 Gb run in 30 hours with the NextSeq 500. The HiSeq X Ten, (pronounced ex ten, not ten ten) consisting of 10 instruments daisy chained together, will generate 18 Tb in 72 hours.  The new optical technology now utilizes a 2 dye system: adenine and cytosine bases are represented by one dye, an absence of dye for guanine bases and both dyes for thymine. This allows Illumina to utilize lower resolution cameras with half the number of images. The new patterned flow cells with larger clusters use nano wells and are scanned bi-directionally making optical scanning 6 times faster than a HiSeq 2500. New reagent chemistry now allows reactions to occur at room temperature, eliminating the need for a bulky chiller which reduces the instrument’s size to that of a Miseq, leading to the commonly quoted phrase: “HiSeq in a MiSeq”.

What’s the cost ?

The NEXTSeq 500 will cost $250,000 and the HiSeq X Ten must be purchased in sets of 10 at $10 million for a full set. According to Illumina, the HiSeq X Ten will yield whole human genome sequences for $1,000 each and will have the capability to generate around 15,000-20,000 genomes per year. The NEXTSeq 500 will be able to generate 120 Gb or 4, whole human genomes at 30x coverage for ~$4,000.

Excess capacity

So what will providers be doing with all this excess capacity….enter  Genohub’s intelligent sequencing matching engine instantly matches researchers with service providers based on specific project criteria. Genohub facilitates the management of sequencing projects throughout the sequencing lifecycle from selecting orderable sequencing packages, to communication, payments and delivery of data. In March, NGS service facilities are going to need to recoup operational costs and convince their institutions they made the right choice dropping $250K for a NEXTSeq 500 or $10M for a HiSeq X 10 cluster. We estimate that toward the middle of 2014 there will be a lot of available NEXTSeq 500 flow cells needing filling and a much higher number of whole human genomes needed for the HiSeq X 10. Regulatory issues, data analysis bottlenecks and operational logistics will most likely keep the 5 HiSeq X 10’s fairly quiet in 2014 (Illumina has promised 5 in 2014, 3 have already been purchased). Genohub is uniquely positioned to distribute this excess capacity to researchers around the world.  Your local institution or even country no longer need to have one of these instruments on hand (See our post on reasons to outsource NGS services). By using, you have access to sequencing capacity and instruments located throughout the world.

Looking to use the NEXTSeq 500 ? After discussions with our current service providers, we expect NEXTSeq 500 sequencing services to be available on Genohub in 3 months. We’ve already spoken to one of the announced HiSeq X 10 customers and hope to have that service available on Genohub shortly after delivery.  So today, we’re happy to announce that Genohub is taking NEXTSeq 500 pre-delivery service requests ! Send your request through our consultation form. Check back with us in March for regular access to these platforms using our intelligent sequencing search engine.