As the general manager of Ion Torrent, I believe that the pursuit of “Sequencing for all” is critical to advancing the era of genomic information. While I am gratified by the work we do at Thermo Fisher Scientific, I believe that the very life blood of science is the diversity of approaches that you, the community, bring to your endeavors. Even though much has already been achieved by previous next generation sequencing (NGS) instruments, there are many more discoveries still to be made, and even more of these to be applied for everyday use. Technology must evolve to become more accessible to both individual researchers and to our clinical research and commercial partners. After all, the greatest value from NGS will come from you and your colleagues, and we are committed to enabling your success.
It is thus with great enthusiasm today that we introduce the new Ion S5™ and S5™ XL Systems. Designed with Ion Torrent’s founding principles of simplicity, speed and scalability at their core, these instruments demonstrate our continued commitment to democratize NGS for all members of the life sciences community. Every member of the Ion Torrent team has worked tirelessly for this day, and I am incredibly grateful to my colleagues for their continued dedication to our mission. I am even more grateful to our customers who have been equally committed to our shared goals, and have helped us grow and improve from a nascent technology to where we are today. The path from innovation to everyday use is never easy, but over time, we can reset the bar and transform a technology that once was reserved for experts to be accessible to all.
So what’s the big deal about the Ion S5 Systems?
For one, the Ion S5 Systems simplify workflows to the point that almost anyone can perform targeted NGS assays. With plug-and-play cartridge-based reagents, setup for a sequencing run takes less than 15 minutes hands on time, and when used with the Ion Chef™ System, you can go from DNA to data with less than 45 minutes of total hands-on time. Given our position as a trusted provider of oncology sample-to-answer NGS solutions, with pre-configured content, easy to use reporting software, and the lowest DNA/RNA input requirements (using as little as 10ng with Ion AmpliSeq™ technology), the new capabilities of the Ion S5 Systems will help move this important work forward, providing even greater flexibility to support the development of new oncology research panels and more efficient workflows with large targeted panels. The introduction of the Ion S5 Systems represents a significant milestone to enable even more labs to deploy NGS that may potentially change the future of cancer care.
Second, we believe that the Ion S5 Systems deliver the best value of any benchtop instruments in the industry. Priced between our existing Ion Torrent systems, and having the flexibility to scale from 5M to 20M to 80M reads (with the Ion 520, 530 and 540 chips, respectively), the Ion S5™ Systems provide the maximum value of any benchtop system on the market . And with 400 base pair reads, Ion AmpliSeq RNA kits, and a series of new community panels, the Ion S5 Systems are perfect for microbial, gene expression, and inherited disease research applications.
Finally, we built the Ion S5 Systems with process-controlled, easy to use workflows in mind, while retaining maximum application versatility, rendering the Ion S5 Systems an outstanding platform of choice for partners to develop their own assays. We understand that most of the content that will run on our instruments will be developed by you, the scientific community. Thus, the Ion S5 Systems are critical additions to our portfolio of NGS systems.
It is our sincere hope that you too are excited about our new sequencers. Of course, you may still be wondering, why name it the Ion S5 sequencer? The answer is simple, really. This new instrument runs the 500 series of chips (since the PGM ran the 300 series, and, at least internally, the Proton ran the 400 series of chips), so the 5 is for the chip series. The S, on the other hand, stands for a variety of things, including our core values of speed, simplicity and scalability.
Most of all, though, the S is for sequencing for all. At Thermo Fisher Scientific, we are honored to serve you, and we can’t wait to see how you will use the Ion S5 Systems, and the applications that you will develop to transform our world for the better.
For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.