Friday, October 23, 2015

The Future of Sequencing Technology in Clinical Application

As science develops, traditional Sanger sequencing has failed to meet the requirements of low cost, high throughput and fast in speed. It is under this circumstance that the next-generation sequencing technology (second-generation sequencing) appears. As a comparatively new industry, the next-generation sequencing technology can be applied for clinical genetic testing, health industry, industrial and agricultural use of gene-oriented study as well as scientific research and development.

Recent years, with the discovery and promotion of second-generation sequencing technology, gene sequencing speeds up greatly while achieving a substantial decline in costs, making large-scale application of genome sequencing possible. Now, the cost of personal whole genome sequencing is about 5,000$, and is expected to decreased to less than $ 1,000 in the next few years.

The rapid development of sequencing technology will promote the massive accumulation of DNA sequencing data, accompanied by the accumulation of the corresponding individual signs, diseases and other data at the same time. When enough data is accumulated, how to understand these data will be critical. On the micro level, generations of molecular biologists' studying the effects of apparent biological traits genes exert on utilizing technologies (such as gene knockout) has made breakthroughs in many crutial aspects. On the macro level, statistics and other data analysis techniques are introduced to study the relationship between gene sequences and biological phenotype. The accumulation of basic scientific research gradually brings breakthroughs in clinical applications.

There are now two types of clinical applications mainly, one aims at disease screening of ordinary people. It detects people’s risks of getting cancer in the future by measuring the known genes associated with a disease loci. The other aims at the diagnosis cancer and other deadly diseases. It finds in a series of drugs or plans the most effective one for certain patients by testing the loci of certain genes.

Data from BBC research shows that total global gene sequencing market increased from $ 7.941million in 2007 to $ 4.5 billion in 2013, and is predicted to reach $ 11.7 billion in 2018 with the CAGR up to 21.2%.

Currently, the market of next-generation sequencing platform is mainly taken by several major manufacturers, including the Illumina, Ion Torrent / Life Technologies (was the acquisition of Thermo Fisher in 2014), 454 Life Sciences / Roche and other small ones like Creative Biolabs and CD Genomics.