When 10X Genomics launched their GemCode sequencing instrument at last year’s AGBT conference, what they offered seemed too good to be true. 10X was promising researchers a machine that could generate long reads using Illumina’s short read technology at a price lower than what PacBio could offer with their “real” long read instruments. A year earlier, Illumina had announced they were buying Moleculo, a company that promised to offer long read data out of the short reads. But good data with the Moleculo platform failed to materialize.
10X Genomics hasn’t had that problem of Moleculo, and was in fact declared the “winner” at AGBT this year when they presented de novo human data.
Today, for the first time, the CEO of 10X, Serge Saxonov, joins us to talk about their technology and the company’s stellar rise.
The question everyone wants answered from Serge is how well the 10X linked reads stand up to so called “real” long reads. PacBio has spent years co-discovering with their customers applications where their long reads provide significant advantage over short reads, at a price. And even though PacBio released a cheaper-faster-better machine, the Sequel, late last year, some researchers have been wondering whether 10X might come through and "clean house" with their inexpensive system?
“Now you can get the information that people were hoping to access in maybe five or ten years--you can get it now. And in fact you don’t need to make a tremendous new investment and change your workflow radically,” says Serge.
While 10X is enabling Illumina customers to generate long reads, are there still limitations of the short read machines that can’t be overcome?
Serge and 10X have already launched a second system, the Chromium, which offers single cell analysis. How big is the single cell market, and what are Serge’s thoughts on the future of sequencing?