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New Generation of Gene Sequencing System Unveiled in China's Chongqing

By ZHAN CHENICHONGQING|May 12,2022

Chongqing- On May 9, China’s first monochrome fluorescence high-throughput gene sequencer was unveiled in Southwest China’s Chongqing. The unveiling ceremony of the UniSeq2000TM, independently developed by Chongqing ME Instruments Technology Co., Ltd., marks the rise of a new generation of domestic gene sequencers.

launch conference

On May 9, the product UniSeq2000TM, China’s first monochrome fluorescence high-throughput gene sequencer, was unveiled at the product launch conference in Chongqing. (iChongqing file photo)

Domestic gene sequencers development 

The sequencer can perform gene sequencing on various scientific research and clinical samples and is widely used in multiple scenarios of pathogen detection, non-invasive prenatal screening, tumor companion diagnosis, newborn screening, and others. So far, the sequencer’s hardware, software, reagents, and consumables can be entirely localized.

The UniSeq2000TM  uses microfluidic chip technology combined with single-color fluorescence luminescence sequencing chemistry technology, which can complete gene sequencing of different types of scientific research and clinical samples. The maximum number of designed chips is two, and the throughput of each chip is 80-320M reads. 

gene sequencing

The sequencer is widely used in various scenarios. (iChongqing/ Chen Zhan)

“Currently, China’s high-throughput sequencing platforms mainly rely on imported brands, and sequencing instruments and reagents are costly, which has limited the development of the domestic genetic testing industry,” said an analyst. The release of the UniSeq2000TM monochromatic fluorescence high throughput gene sequencer platform by ME Instruments demonstrates the rise of a new generation of domestic gene sequencers.

The sequencer can perform gene sequencing on different types of scientific research and clinical samples and is widely used in various scenarios. (iChongqing file photo)

High-throughput sequencing technology has reduced the cost of a person’s genome from 1 billion US dollars to several thousand yuan, triggering the “industrial revolution” in the genetic diagnosis field. The high-throughput sequencer is like the steam engine of the revolution, and foreign companies in the past have chronically monopolized its vital technology.

Dr. Wu Jian, chairman of ME Instruments, said that the company now has research and development centers in Beijing and Shenzhen. It strives to be a domestic pioneer in developing gene sequencing analysis platforms and related technologies to complete the localization of sequencer-related hardware, software, reagents, and consumables.

Biopharmaceutical industry

Biomedicine is a strategic emerging industry that Chongqing Jiangbei District focuses on promoting in the future, said Liu Xiaohui, deputy head of Jiangbei District. As the single-color fluorescence high-throughput gene sequencer was chosen to debut in Jiangbei District for the first time, a new journey of cooperation between Jiangbei district and ME Instruments in the core field of biomedicine will be started.

gene-sequencing

Biomedicine is a strategic emerging industry that Chongqing Jiangbei District focuses on promoting in the future. (iChongqing/ Chen Zhan)

In recent years, Jiangbei District has actively built a remarkable cluster of high-quality biopharmaceutical industries with a large-scale health industry system as its core. At present, there are more than 90 biopharmaceutical enterprises in Jiangbei District. A large number of high-quality enterprises have emerged, showing a solid momentum of industrial development.

In the first quarter of this year, the district’s biomedical industry achieved revenue of 8 billion yuan (about 1.19 billion U.S. dollars), going up 100% year on year.

(Wang Yuxuan, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)

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