(Yicai Global) Aug. 2 -- Associate professor He Jiankui of the Southern University of Science and Technology of China (SusTech) unveiled his third-generation DNA sequencer, GenoCare, at a press conference held by the university. Mass production of the product is expected to start in late 2018, by which time the cost of gene sequencing is projected to go down to around USD100.
GenoCare can read the most primitive DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) molecule sequences, and thus substantially reduce the cost of clinical DNA sequencing operations, Yangcheng Evening News reported, citing a speech by the biology professor at the event. Furthermore, DNA identification data generated by GenoCare are 99.7 percent consistent with those obtained using Illumina Inc.'s [NYSE:ILMN] MiSeq. The American company is the global leader in genetic sequencing technology.
It costed USD3 billion to scan the genome of a person using a first-generation sequencer, said professor He, and second-generation sequencers pushed it down to about USD1,000. Once mass produced, GenoCare can cut the cost to as low as USD100, and reduce the time needed from one week to one day.
The professor has received first several orders for GenoCare, and some 700 sequencers will be produced in the first batch. His team will scale up production next year, with mass production expected to begin by the end of the year. "Ordinary citizens will be able to get a DNA ID card for about USD100 before the end of next year," He predicted.
At present, GenoCare's buyers mainly include universities, hospitals and research institutes. The product will be applied for early diagnosis of neoplasms, newborn genetic disease screening, prenatal diagnosis and detection of unknown fever pathogens.