With the completion of the Human Genome Project a wealth of new information about the genetic composition of organisms has become available. However, as the demand for sequence information grows, so does the workload required both to generate this sequence and to use it for targeted genetic analysis.
Along with efficiencies in workload, Solexa expects the Solexa Genome Analysis System to reduce the cost and speed of a broad range of applications, including whole genome human sequencing and expression profiling.
"As >Solexa advances along the path to broadly commercialise our genetic analysis platform with the goal of enabling customers to re-sequence human genomes for $100,000 (€79 400)," said John West, chief executive officer of Solexa.
Under the terms of the agreement, Invitrogen will supply most of the reagents for Solexa's sequencing, gene expression, and small RNA analysis kits designed to be used with the Solexa Genome Analysis System. Financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.
By aligning themselves with Solexa, Invitrogen have further staked its claim in the genetic analysis market, a burgeoning sector accelerated by the Human Genome Project and the wealth of information as a result.
Frost and Sullivan had previously identified the total European bioinformatics market will expand from nearly $310 million (€252.8 million) in 2004 to $720 million by 2011.
At an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.4 per cent over 2004 to 2011, proteomics is expected to have the highest growth potential within the European bioinformatics market.
"Our relationship with Solexa will allow us to be a significant player in an area that could change the shape of human medicine," said Claude Benchimol, Invitrogen's senior vice president, research and development.
Genetic analysis systems are well positioned to assist in the collection and use of this data through increased analysis speed, lower analysis cost and higher parallelism leading to increased assay throughput.
In addition, such integrated microsystems may point the way to targeted genetic experiments on single cells and in other areas that are otherwise very difficult.
These systems should be capable of forming portable systems for high-speed in situ analyses, enabling a new standard in disciplines such as clinical chemistry, forensics, biowarfare detection and epidemiology.
Solexa's platform, which leverages the company's proprietary Clonal Single Molecule Array technology and reversible-terminator chemistry, has the versatility and scalability to address researchers' needs in a range of settings, including core facilities, genome centres, and individual laboratories.
Solexa is currently taking orders for the system and expects to commence shipment of the technology platform in Autumn 2006.