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Old 01-10-2016, 11:08 AM   #1
math_guy
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Default Ugh..what if GE buys Illumina tomorrow?

Illumina has an investor conference call today. I feel that it may be a company like GE Healthcare buying Illumina. If something like that happened, I feel that the entire segment will just get bogged down. And advancements will slow.

Does anyone else agree?

Please, illumina, don't sell out to GE or a company like them. Just buy Pac Bio or...even Oxford. Or....do better with your R&D. I would rather see you borrow and spend in an ALL-OUT manner than to see you sell out to someone like this. (I know...I am no one...but still....if Jay is reading this...which is also super unlikely since he's at the conference call now....don't sell....buy stuff instead...money is crazy cheap now).

An ALL-OUT cancer push is coming. I guarantee it. GE and other companies know this. They are positioning themselves to be the only solution providers (FDA approved, of course) for this push. Since there are only 2 companies in this space...and this space is the first or second most important part of the puzzle...GE and other companies who have insider knowledge of this huge government push (which is coming, believe or don't believe me) are preparing to purchase the companies that are set to profit the most from this upcoming global project. These guys know how to milk government money for all it is worth.

Also...if Illumina is about to sell out...my guess is that it means they have nothing in the pipeline to compete with Sequel.

How come the sequencing market isn't bigger? Does it mostly rely on government money to turn these machines on? Is it the regulations that keep it out of the private sector?

Either way I hope this conference isn't about selling out.
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:10 PM   #2
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Grail. Weak. We can already do this and you don't have to wait til 2019 to have it done. Why was this a Sunday conference call? The only worthwhile thing that they could do with this is to go for FDA approval.

Oh well, at least they haven't sold out yet. I suppose there is still hope.

No one ever responds my posts here. Does anyone think this will be good news for Illumina? Is this even a thing?
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:06 AM   #3
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Oh...I get it. It seems as if Illumina is telling us that they have nothing really revolutionary in their pipeline. I was just thinking about it and here's my guess:

1) Their only competition is Sequel.
2) Cancer is their biggest market for consumables (kits, at least) and the fastest growing.
3) Sequel is limited by the number of reads and many reads are really long, so the Smart Cell is unlikely to find a tiny fragment from a cancer cell that happens to be in the person's blood.

Ok. Let's see how Wall Street responds to this announcement. If they receive no revenue til 2019 from Grail then I feel that there is little to no response from investors. There was some buying the past several days so, clearly, insiders knew this was coming.

Was this really worth making analysts get on a conference call Sunday? I don't think so. This seems like they are trying to create a market for their existing technology. There will DEFINITELY be a race for labs to find the clues that are emitted by early stage cancer cells. Since these signals are needles in a haystack (like everything in bio) then a system with LOTS of reads will beat out a system with high resolution, long reads.

Illumina is in trouble if this is what they consider being worthy of a Sunday morning conference call. My tiny lab already realized this property of their machines 4 years ago and we're not even that clever. Their only advantage is their cost of sequencing is relatively low for high volume sequencing...oh....and they have enough money to get FDA approval.

Maybe I will short some Illumina stock tomorrow morning....hmmm....the market is quite choppy already though. Maybe I'll just see how the market responds at the open.

I'll check back in the morning to see if anyone made fun of my opinions.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:01 AM   #4
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Out of curiosity, what would Sequels do for you that a HiSeqXFive would not? Do you need the long reads?

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Old 01-11-2016, 09:09 AM   #5
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Out of curiosity, what would Sequels do for you that a HiSeqXFive would not? Do you need the long reads?

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Yes. We need the long reads. Our entire protocol is based on long reads. The longer they get, the better our solution is.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:06 AM   #6
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Meh. I don't think people see much in GRAIL. Maybe I am not getting it.

Is there something I am missing with this new company? If my tiny lab can already do this...and by "do this", I mean that we can look for little nuggets of info in a blood-based genomic scan...then can't almost anyone do the same thing? What is the BIG DEAL gonna be? Is Illumina gonna make a kit for looking for these little scraps in your blood? If so....that ain't a BIG DEAL. I can do that myself.

We knew this years ago but felt the number of scans would be too high and too expensive. We knew it would be a thing when the cost per base came down a lot...which it sort of has in the past few years.

But, still, I feel that it isn't really that big of a deal.

Also, Pac Bio dipped to $10 per share today. I bought a few thousand shares as a day trade. I am nervous about Illumina. They need to get serious about long teads, in my opinion.

Also...I feel that I mostly talk to myself here. Is there another sequencing forum that is better? Do you think that Reddit would have more people? I often have LOTS of questions and would love to find a place where I could ask and discuss them. Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:17 AM   #7
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How would Illumina do this, do you think? Maybe focus on amplifying the potential "candidate" fragments in a blood-based genomic scan only? Maybe...bar-code a hundred patients and just go after a few hundred fragments by targeting those fragments only? That way, you can put a lot of patients on one scan...but only look for the signals?
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:26 AM   #8
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Deep sequence known regions known for targeted therapy for that cancer type. A handful of regions is all that is needed for lung. If they just want a signal of cancer before they do a larger panel, TP53 could be enough to monitor at the start.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:34 AM   #9
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Deep sequence known regions known for targeted therapy for that cancer type. A handful of regions is all that is needed for lung. If they just want a signal of cancer before they do a larger panel, TP53 could be enough to monitor at the start.
Yeah. I think that makes sense. Sort of. Their machines can process a lot of data each run. Now we just need labs around the world to publish the keys so that Illumina can gather these keys and make a kit. Then they need a way to bar-code it for a lot of patients on one run.

Isn't that, basically, what GRAIL is probably gonna do? Also...can't almost anyone do that? I can do that if I had the time. And money.
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:39 AM   #10
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I have a feeling that the investor call was probably related to the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference (link here). Illumina announced two sequencers as part of their presentation-- the miniseq we all heard about and a semiconductor sequencer that's in development (and somehow slipped past the press releases I saw). That's a PGM killer, right there, if it works. Maybe they were trying to decide if it was worth spilling the beans on the semiconductor if it's very early in the development phase...

Marketing here seemed rather underwhelmed by Grail-- nothing they're talking about is something that can't already be done. That said, they do have a rather impressive list of thought leaders and investors assembled. That kind of thing makes news no matter what.
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:03 AM   #11
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I have a feeling that the investor call was probably related to the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference (link here). Illumina announced two sequencers as part of their presentation-- the miniseq we all heard about and a semiconductor sequencer that's in development (and somehow slipped past the press releases I saw). That's a PGM killer, right there, if it works. Maybe they were trying to decide if it was worth spilling the beans on the semiconductor if it's very early in the development phase...

Marketing here seemed rather underwhelmed by Grail-- nothing they're talking about is something that can't already be done. That said, they do have a rather impressive list of thought leaders and investors assembled. That kind of thing makes news no matter what.
Yes. They needed to officially announce some stuff before the JP Morgan conference because of SEC regulations. It just seemed very last minute. Sunday morning....that's not common for an investor conference call. That is what made me think they were possibly selling themselves to GE.

And GRAIL.....I don't, personally, see the value in it as a company. I saw Jay Flatley on CNBC yesterday afternoon discussing it. There was nothing new. As in, nothing new was invented or discovered. His "genesis" of GRAIL was that the team was working on Down Syndrome testing 18 months ago and they kept finding cancer markers in the mothers. So it got them thinking about how to expand on that.

If that is actually true....yikes. Like I wrote earlier, my group knew about this years ago. We can't have been the only group. That interview on CNBC made me sell (3 hours ago) the Illumina stock I recently bought. I think Illumina has nothing competitive in their pipeline.

What Illumina needs to do is tell their customers how to solve multiplex primer design and PCR. They need to release that secret. They only have one competitor. If they wanna sell more machines and consumables...then they need to release that secret. Will it help Pac bio? Yes. But Illumina can't compete with Pac Bio's new machine for a lot of upcoming projects and burgeoning niches. So...if they can't compete they should focus on what they can still do competitively: lots of data in a run...with short reads.

What they want to do with their in-house ability to multiplex is get FDA approval (via GRAIL) for the kit they will make for this cancer test. The problem for them will be: do they release the kit and give the world their solution for multiplex....or do they keep it all in-house and become a service provider where doctors send in the samples and GRAIL runs them?

Well....those are my guesses at least.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:12 AM   #12
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What Illumina needs to do is tell their customers how to solve multiplex primer design and PCR. They need to release that secret. They only have one competitor. If they wanna sell more machines and consumables...then they need to release that secret. Will it help Pac bio? Yes. But Illumina can't compete with Pac Bio's new machine for a lot of upcoming projects and burgeoning niches. So...if they can't compete they should focus on what they can still do competitively: lots of data in a run...with short reads.
How deep do they multiplex?

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Old 01-12-2016, 12:46 PM   #13
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How deep do they multiplex?

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I don't know. I only speculate. But on this one, I am nearly positive. How deep...? I don't know. We did a decent job. They're bigger and smarter than we are. If they can't multiplex like I am guessing, then they suck at R&D and need to fire whomever is in charge. If they're spending no money on solving it then they need fire whomever is in charge.

**Don't be mad if you're the guy in charge.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:49 PM   #14
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The whole semiconductor CMOS announcement was odd. Illumina isn't one to need to announce a product 2 years in advance. Also, this was a project that was shelved a few years ago because there was no need for it because of lack of competition. My guess is pacbio surprised them with sequel and now they are following suit with some scale-able CMOS sensor similar to what pacbio was able to do with sequel.

Props on predicting the cancer push. Even got mentioned during Obama's last SOTU. What companies do you see are best position to take this marketshare?
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:19 AM   #15
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The whole semiconductor CMOS announcement was odd. Illumina isn't one to need to announce a product 2 years in advance. Also, this was a project that was shelved a few years ago because there was no need for it because of lack of competition. My guess is pacbio surprised them with sequel and now they are following suit with some scale-able CMOS sensor similar to what pacbio was able to do with sequel.

Props on predicting the cancer push. Even got mentioned during Obama's last SOTU. What companies do you see are best position to take this marketshare?
I was worried enough about Illumina's pipeline to sell all my stock in the company. But since it is only them and Pac Bio with machines that are shipping, they are probably a company to invest in after the stock market settles itself out. If ILMN drops below $140 then I will wait to see where they drop and stabilize. Then I will probably buy.

Sequencing is in store for radical change. It is a bummer that the FDA will be the one that bogs everything down. I have a solution for sequencing. If I felt mine was better than everyone else's then I would build it. But...I think that other people have better ideas than me and they are close to building it. Illumina should have thrown every last dollar they had and then borrowed all this fake free money flowing around to develop new technologies and stop focusing on extending their razor blade model for hiseq and their other machines.. It will come back to haunt them, I believe. They didn't need that new building. They didn't spend their money very well. They didn't take competition seriously. Their sales team is mediocre. Their management doesn't get it. They spend WAY too much time chasing gov't money. No awesome acquisitions. (Don't be mad...the one Illumina employee reading this...I am like this with everyone and everything).

GRAIL is ridiculous. Did they just trick some rich guys into giving them a bunch of money by pretending that they invented targeted sequencing of cancer markers? Ok...maybe it isn't ridiculous, but it isn't revolutionary. They should have been working on a kit for sequencing these markers years ago. I would have, if I were there.

Here's a free blueprint for how to make GRAIL profitable:

1) get labs to do the research (using your machines and gov't cash) to find all the cancer markers that show up in blood, spit, poo, etc.
2) figure out (if you haven't already) how to multiplex PCR really well
3) make a kit with all the perfectly computed primers for these regions
4) pay the FDA to give you the approval for your first gen kit (make sure to get your entire protocol approved so that your 2nd and 3rd gen kits are faster to approve)
5) don't sell the kit...just run it in-house and make crazy money by selling it to doctors and hospitals as the only kit available....maybe $1,000 per run...maybe more...don't sell the kit cuz then you will give away your secret multiplex formula...and someone may be clever enough to reverse engineer how it was computed

Illumina might have to buy Oxford. That's gonna be a pretty big gamble. But I am digressing.

Anyhow, I don't deserve "props" on the big cancer push call. I track down every piece of data I can get my hands on. I knew this was coming and have been following where big money is setting up to provide the services for this giant (and trust me...it will be GIANT) amount of money that is about to flow into cancer research from the federal government.

I'll provide some of my stock picks if you want (but my cancer bets are awesome...and I don't known if I wanna give them away yet). My investments are only in 4 industries right now. Complex financial derivative products. Biotech. Land. And bitcoin. I am, often, a binary investor. Either I make 2X or greater (very quickly) or I am out quickly. By the way, investors like me are bad for the economy. But that's a whole other topic.

I have to thoroughly understand the technology and the market. I have to have inside information that I personally acquired (legally). And no one can beat me to the conclusion (unless they cheated). Otherwise I don't invest.

I never publish anything on the internet unless I am 100% certain. So...telling you my investment picks is giving away all my research. But I might do it here...cuz no one here ever reads my posts. Also, no one here ever believes me. Sometimes I wish someone here would just believe me once. I wish my friends and family had believed me about not buying a house in 2007. I wish the same people had believed me about bitcoin in 2011. I wish people believed me that the B2B internet bubble was totally fake. I wish that people would believe me that the US is broke and will default on our citizens and foreign governments. I wish my lab believed in my ideas.

Facebook is easy to copy. Twitter is easier. Uber could and probably will be Uber'd by another company who makes less profit (cuz...it's just a stupid app). Tesla is overpriced and over leveraged. Amazon is a binary event. Cable is doomed. The VIX is headed to 80 (easiest to just buy the VXX). Wait til the CanadIan dollar falls to about 60 cents US and buy property in Alberta and Vancouver. Bitcoin is headed back above $1,000...with bumps along the way. Puerto Rico will default even worse than anyone expected, so bet on that. Short muni's in Chicago and Illinois. Make a crazy bet on bitbet (the gambling site) that Trump will get the GOP nomination. Buy land in St. Kitts. Maybe buy Pac Bio stock if it falls below $10. Buy some Swiss Francs. Don't invest in marijuana companies (they're run by stoners). Invest in water (it's cheap to buy now). Buy land in the desert if it is on top of a well (also very cheap now...Desert Hot Springs is a good deal). Buy oil if it dips below $20 per barrel.

I have lots of others. But I wrote way too much. Most importantly, invest in sequencing.

Also...don't follow internet investing advice.
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Old 01-15-2016, 02:17 PM   #16
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Jay Flatley just sold $3.3 million worth of his personal stock at around $170 per share 2 days ago. That isn't a good sign, in my opinion.

Unless....and this is crazy...he is afraid of being too rich cuz he knows that Illumina is headed to the moon because of incremental improvements in their chemistry and software. Oh...and GRAIL.

Anyhow, I liquidated 80% of my remaining ILMN holdings yesterday and today. I may short the stock next week. But I need to see how the market reacts after this long weekend.

Is any of this related to this forum? Yes, I think so. For labs that are looking to partner with the right tech providers, they need to understand what is happening, financially, with their partners. If you are planning to buy a sequencer in the next 120 days....I basically feel sorry for you. Unless it is an Oxford. Or maybe a Sequel. I would say: just use a service provider and wait to see how the pipeline shakes out before investing in a machine. If you can't use a service provider cuz you think they may steal your data....then you're in the most trouble cuz you need the machine on-site.

Or...if you think I am an annoying contrarian indicator...then buy one.
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Old 01-17-2016, 12:37 AM   #17
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I think the scale of the project will be an order of magnitude larger than anything else ever done with ctDNA. Only ILMN can do this because they're paying a fraction for sequencing of what their customers do.

ILMN should have the inside track to set up large scale population studies. Gather enough data to identify markers and weed out false positives that others cannot.

I have no idea if they will succeed, but I certainly see why they think they will be the ones to do it, if it's indeed possible.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:53 AM   #18
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I think the scale of the project will be an order of magnitude larger than anything else ever done with ctDNA. Only ILMN can do this because they're paying a fraction for sequencing of what their customers do.

ILMN should have the inside track to set up large scale population studies. Gather enough data to identify markers and weed out false positives that others cannot.

I have no idea if they will succeed, but I certainly see why they think they will be the ones to do it, if it's indeed possible.
ILMN isn't the only company that can do this. The way I see it, as a non bio guy, is like this: the data is in the bloodstream; there MUST be another way to hone in on those markers without wasting resources on grabbing a ton of non-markers.

Hence, Illumina can't be the only one that can do this...according to the opinion of me.

As for a 10X increase in the funding...I think you are off by a bunch.I don't think much has been spent on it yet so a 10X increase wouldn't be much. And wouldn't be enough to make a dent, I feel.

A lot can happen between now and 2019, which is when they expect to have a solution. But I am wrong a lot.
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