Illumina (ILMN) says it has broken a major cost barrier in DNA sequencing. ILMN stock surged more than 3% in Thursday morning trading on the news.
At a healthcare conference in San Francisco, Illumina announced that it has developed a DNA sequences machine capable of decoding five complete genomes per day. ILMN CEO Jay Flatley told the conference that the HiSeq X Ten machines could scan genomes six times faster that prior models. Each machine will cost $1 million, but will allow genome sequencing for under $1,000, a long-sought goal in the field, BBC notes.
Finding a cheap way to sequence the DNA in the human genome has been a major objective for genetics researchers and promises to open an age of personalized medicine, in which a patient’s unique genetic predispositions can be taken into account during health care.
DNA sequencing has been around for decades, but was once very costly. Improved DNA sequencing technology has lowered the cost significantly, but producing technology that can sequence and entire genome for under $1,000 has been an objective for the industry for more than a decade.
ILMN stock has soared more than 130% over the past year. ILMN stock now trades over $124 a share. At least one analyst predicted that ILMN stock was poised to post gains over the summer.