GEN: Genewiz ascends to Top 10 Sequencing Companies
Recently GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News) unveiled the list of Top 10 global Sequencing Companies. Illumina ranks the first and Chinese companies take up two seats, BGI Genomics (the 3rd) and Genewiz (the 8th).
In recent years, with in-depth layout of “precision medicine”, the gene sequencing market ushers in an explosive growth. The next-generation sequencing (NGS) market is expanding, driven by advancements in platform technology, increasing sequencing applications, growth in partnerships and collaborations, and the decline in the cost of sequencing.
By 2022, the global NGS market is projected to reach between US$10.5 billion (BCC Research) and US$12.45 billion (Markets and Markets), though a more cautious forecast envisions the market growth to be relatively slow, to reach US$11.92 billion by 2024 (BIS Research).
Whatever the figure, there’s no doubt that the cost of sequencing is declining, falling four orders of magnitude from US$10 million at the end of 2007, to under US$5,000 at the end of 2013. A year later, Illumina announced the long-awaited $1,000 genome in the form of the company's HiSeq X10 system at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, opening a new structure of personal genome sequencing. The pace of sequencing progress has quickened since then, with Illumina unveiling the NovaSeq in 2017, trumpeting the newer sequencer as potentially enabling a $100 genome.
In the latest list of Top 10 Sequencing Companies, GEN unveils the top 10 sequencing companies and their brief introduction, as well as their 2017 revenues in addition to other information.
No. 1. Illumina
2017 revenues: US$2.752 billion
At the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference held in January, Illumina released a smaller system- iSeq™ 100, a new type of DNA sequencing device known for “low cost”, “compact” and “high precision”. This 1 c.f. box sells for only US$19,900 (this price is for the United States market, and may vary in other markets). This change is expected to enable all laboratories across the world to have the opportunity to have a DNA sequencer. Last year Illumina released NextSeq 550Dx, in a bid to expand the NGS to the clinical laboratories. Meanwhile, Illumina has cooperated with KingMed Diagnostics to apply NGS technology in the new oncology and genetic disease detection.
No. 2. Thermo Fisher Scientific
2017 Revenues: “Just under” US$418.36 million
Thermo Fisher Scientific CEO Marc Casper offered an approximate size for its NGS business on January 31. Though NGS represents just under 2% of the company’s revenue, Casper is confident in NGS industry. In 2018, the company is planning to begin offering researchers with its Ion AmpliSeq technology. As a global leader in scientific service sector, Thermo Fisher’s sales revenue hit US$20.92 billion in 2017, up 14% compared with the previous year.
No.3. BGI Genomics
2017 revenues: US$332.3 million
Following its successful listing in July 2017, BGI Genomics has promised to launch more services. BGI Genomics announced plans to launch a SMRT-based sequencing service focused on conservation biology, the Life Periodic Plan, during the J.P. Morgan Annual Healthcare Conference held in January. The plan aims to data-mine species through sequencing in order to deliver “digital data on all animals and plants on earth” and eventually elucidate the laws of life hidden within the data.
No. 4. Agilent Technologies
2017 revenues: Approximately US$230 million
The figure reflects sequencing accounting for “less than 30%” of the US$772 million in 2017 revenue reported by Agilent’s diagnostics and genomics group (DGG). Agilent completes a purchase that began in 2016, when it invested US$80 million in Lasergen and took a 48% stake in the developer of NGS technology. Last year, Agilent acquired molecular and sample barcoding patent portfolios of Population Genetics Technologies, which the buyer said would enable it to improve the accuracy and sensitivity of NGS detection. On April 3, 2018, Agilent signed a definitive agreement with Lasergen to acquire its remaining shares for US$105 million.
No. 5. Qiagen
2017 revenues: More than US$115 million
Qiagen disclosed a sales figure for its NGS business when it released fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 results on January 31—as well as its 2018 goal to exceed US$140 million in NGS sales, up 22%. “We are adding a range of new products and service enhancements to our QIAseq NGS panel portfolio for universal solutions as well as for the GeneReader NGS system,” Qiagen CEO Peer M. Schatz said. Last month, Qiagen and Natera announced a plan to develop cell-free DNA assays focused on prenatal screening. This cooperation could generate up to US$50 million for Natera.
No. 6. Macrogen
2017 revenues: US$95.4 million
As the largest South Korean sequencing company, Macrogen was established 21 years ago. In 2017, it enjoyed a 12% revenue increase from US$85.3 million in 2016. “This year, we will speed up the development of future medical innovations as well as increase our business strategic agility in the gene-therapy field, based on our high-quality gene analysis service,” CEO Moon Ji-young said in a statement. The company maintains a U.S. branch in Rockville, MD, which generated US$2.8 million sales in 2017.
No.7. Pacific Biosciences of California（PacBio）
2017 revenues: US$93.5 million
In 2017, PacBio enjoyed a 19% increase in product and service revenue from the US$78.6 million reported in 2016. The increase was attributed to growth in China, which last year represented more than 30% of total revenue. This year, PacBio announced two significant purchases of its Sequel® system sequencers by Chinese customers, Annoroad Gene Technology and BGI Genomics. This platform is widely used in plant and animal sequencing.
2016 revenues: US$83.1 million
Genewiz is a biotechnology company specializing in genome research and gene technology applications and provides DNA sequencing, gene synthesis, high-throughput sequencing, primer synthesis, molecular biology services and GLP standard specification services. Since its founding in 1999, it has become the fastest-growing platform company in the industry. In 2017, the company expanded into clinical genomics testing with the launch of its CLIA Sanger Sequencing service, and launched Amplicon-EZ, designed to provide researchers with a fast solution to sequence mixed PCR products.
No. 9. 10x Genomics
2017 revenues: US$71 million
The figure is more than double 10x Genomics’ revenues for 2016. During the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference held in January, the company announced a new version of its Chromium de novo assembly solution, which includes a new version of the assembly software, Supernova 2.0. The company’s offerings also include Linked-Reads, a sequencing technology designed to provide long-range information from short-reads sequencing data. 10x Genomics completed a US$55 million Series C financing in 2016 for technological development for mapping the genome larger picture.
No. 10. Oxford Nanopore Technologies
2016 revenues: US$6.3 million
Oxford Nanopore Technologies is known for developing and manufacturing “the pocket-sized portable sequencers” and its MinION real-time DNA/RNA sequencer has ushered in an upsurge of portable nanopore analysis devices. Last month, the company completed its latest financing of US$140.9 million in new financing. The funds will support the company’s next phase of commercial expansion, including a 34,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Harwell, Oxfordshire, U.K. Its order book tripled last year, to approximately US$23.5 million, and it’s expected to approximately triple again this year, to about US$75 million according to foreign media reports.
Beyond the top 10 are numerous companies positioning themselves for future growth in sequencing. An example is Eurofins Group, which in 2017 acquired GATC, a sequencing provider that generated about US$24.5 million in annual revenue at the time of its purchase. Another example is bioMérieux, which partnered with Illumina to develop bioMérieux EpiSeq™, the first commercial system for epidemiological monitoring of bacterial infections.
Also not included below are corporate giants—companies that provide workflow solutions around sequencing, though not sequencing technologies or services per se:
In 2013 Roche shut down the 454 Life Sciences business it acquired from CuraGen six years earlier but retained a Roche Sequencing Solutions (RSS) business focused on simplifying workflows and expanding assay menus. Last year, Roche launched AVENIO circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) Analysis Kits.
BD (Becton, Dickinson, and Co.) provides NGS workflow solutions through its bioscience unit within the life sciences segment. In 2017 BD reported US$1.139 billion revenues. Last year, the company launched BD Rhapsody, a single-cell platform for RNA-expression analysis whose benefits, it said, included sequencing cost savings.
PerkinElmer provides NGS workflow solutions too. In February, it acquired Australian-based RHS for US$19.4 million, adding technologies that include DOPlify, a platform designed to provide cell-ploidy status of single cells and simultaneously cell mitochondrial DNA load using a range of different NGS platforms and workflows.