Ion Proton™ Systems Installed and Operational at the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center

Ion Semiconductor Sequencing on Pace to Deliver the $1,000 Genome By Year's End

Apr 24, 2012, 16:00 ET from Life Technologies Corporation

CARLSBAD, Calif., April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) today announced that multiple Ion Proton™ Sequencers have been installed and are now operating at the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center, (BCM-HGSC) in Houston, Texas. These Ion Proton™ Systems were installed at the BCM-HGSC in early April, and will be capable of sequencing a human genome for $1,000 in a single day.

Dr. Richard Gibbs, the Director of the BCM-HGSC said: "We're pleased the Proton installation went so quickly and smoothly.  We are now generating all the raw data needed for full exomes in just a few hours, and it's exhilarating to see what's to come."

Installation of the Ion Proton™ systems and generation of the first human exome datasets was completed in only 36 hours.  This simplicity and speed is in contrast to the month-long process required to install, qualify and complete sequencing runs on existing high-throughput next-generation sequencing, (NGS) systems.   For more information see

The Ion Proton™ System is a complementary platform to the Ion PGM™ System, which has become the fastest selling benchtop sequencer with the largest benchtop NGS install base in laboratories worldwide. The Ion PGM™ System remains the fastest and most affordable solution to sequence sets of genes, small genomes and small RNA.  The new Ion Proton™ System will deliver rapid, inexpensive sequencing to scientists focused on understanding the function of exomes, transcriptomes and human-scale genomes. 

Two semiconductor chips are designed to run on the Ion Proton™ Sequencer.  The Ion Proton™ I chip is ideal for human exome sequencing, (i.e. the genomic regions that code for proteins), in just a single day.  With a throughput of up to 10 Gb per run, each Proton™ I chip sequences up to 2 human exomes.  The Ion Proton™ II chip will be released 6 months after the Ion Proton™ I chip, realizing the much-anticipated $1,000 human genome with a single day workflow from sample input to called variants.  Read lengths on both Ion Proton™ chips are expected to be up to 200 bases at launch. The Ion Proton™ System will generate high-quality reads, with datasets to be made publically available prior to commercial launch.

Dr. Jonathan Rothberg, CEO & Founder of Ion Torrent said: "Everything we learned from the Ion PGM™ Sequencer has translated directly to the Ion Proton™ Sequencer.  We have scaled seamlessly from sequencing sets of genes on the Ion PGM™ System to running full human exomes on Ion Proton™ Systems.  Richard [Gibbs] has been at the forefront of human sequencing, from the Human Genome Project to sequencing the genome of the first individual – Dr. James Watson.  It is befitting that Baylor is now on the fast track to the world's first $1,000 genome."

Interest in the Ion Proton™ System has been high, with a significant number of multiple unit orders already booked from customers in all major regions of the world. Full commercial launch of the Ion Proton™ Systems is expected by the end of the third quarter of 2012.

For research use only.  Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

About Life Technologies Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) is a global biotechnology company with customers in more than 160 countries using its innovative solutions to solve some of today's most difficult scientific challenges. Quality and innovation are accessible to every lab with its reliable and easy-to-use solutions spanning the biological spectrum with more than 50,000 products for translational research, molecular medicine and diagnostics, stem cell-based therapies, forensics, food safety and animal health. Its systems, reagents and consumables represent some of the most cited brands in scientific research including: Ion Torrent™, Applied Biosystems®,  Invitrogen™, GIBCO®, Ambion®, Molecular Probes®, Novex®, and TaqMan®. Life Technologies employs approximately 10,400 people and upholds its ongoing commitment to innovation with more than 4,000 patents and exclusive licenses. LIFE had sales of $3.7 billion in 2011. Visit us at our website:

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SOURCE Life Technologies Corporation