Former global product manager at Illumina Inc
- Recent developments and implications following Illumina's (NASDAQ: ILMN) win in the BGI Genomics (SHE: 300676) patent infringement case over its proprietary two-colour sequencing-by-synthesis chemistry
- Market dynamic implications in sequencing prices
- Sequencing industry update across long-read and short-read, and M&A overview
- 2022 outlook and growth expectations
Could you update us with your thoughts on Illumina since our previous Interview [see Illumina Sequencing Update – Long-term Diversification Outlook – 17 November 2021], particularly given the recent BGI patent infringement decision?
You mentioned the BGI patent trial decision is a win for Illumina. What are you expecting from BGI? In our previous Interview, you discussed the areas in which it has made inroads vs those that might be a harder sell. Do you think any of the recent dynamics could change that timeline in a meaningful way?
In our previous Interview we discussed the Chinese government’s investment in life sciences and how that might be a tailwind for BGI. What are you noticing in the broader sequencing and life sciences market in APAC around this, particularly relating to increasing competition in NGS [next-generation sequencing] and beyond?
You noted BGI moving towards single cell and RUO [research use only] applications, where PacBio might also play. To what extent could there be creeping conversion between these players and particularly their footprint expansion strategies?
What is the latest from the broader Grail battle? The company most recently criticised the scrutiny that it perceived in the EU since Grail didn’t have a footprint in this geography. You mentioned what that might mean for Grail in the long term and limiting its growth aborad. Do you expect this to have any bearing on the pushback that it’s received?
Could you expand on Oxford Nanopore vs PacBio in long-read sequencing? Nanopore is much quicker but sacrifices some of the accuracy of the read. How might the company improve that accuracy and thus compete more effectively with PacBio?
How do you expect research vs clinical uptick to differ between Oxford Nanopore and PacBio? Could either make inroads in the end markets where they’ve historically struggled to gain traction?
It seems that you favour PacBio over Oxford Nanopore, given the technology in place. What are your thoughts on pricing in the long-read sequencing segment, particularly noting the differences between Oxford and PacBio?
Is there a longer-term expectation that Illumina will suffer due to the growth of long-read sequencing? Could you estimate the growth levels or market shares that Oxford Nanopore, PacBio, Illumina, BGI and others could achieve in 5-10 years?
You outlined how the short-read and long-read sequencing markets might co-exist. What are your expectations for newer or more innovative firms such as Singular Genomics which recently launched its G4 sequencing platform? The CEO describes it as “a Swiss army knife that is quite versatile,” and anyone running an Illumina platform would benefit from a G4.
What do you expect from Singular Genomics in terms of runway for the company beyond the G4 and perhaps best-case scenario for it? What impact might they have on Illumina’s significant market share?
PacBio acquired Omniome in September 2021. What are your expectations for more consolidation across the board? What about the other players you highlighted trying to compete with Illumina such as Element and GenapSys? What is your expectation for acquisitions? Is this a similar model that you would expect Oxford Nanopore to take?
What are your thoughts on Element, GenapSys and any others with interesting technology or which you consider to be well-run companies? Who are you impressed by?
What do you consider most important – beyond what we have already discussed – as we assess the longer-term outlook for the short-read sequencing sector?
How do you recommend we continue to monitor Illumina’s work? You’ve noted legal paths that might prove a more favourable regulatory oversight as it relates to M&A but is there anything you think it should be doing relating to the broader market? You noted changes as a result of the Singular Genomics launch.
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