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New Breakthrough Ion AmpliSeq™ Technology Delivers the Most Rapid and Comprehensive Sequencing of Gene Mutations to Advance Clinical Research

CARLSBAD, Calif., June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) today announced an expanded Ion AmpliSeq product line with the launch of new breakthrough Comprehensive Cancer and Inherited Disease Panels.  These first of kind panels, when coupled with Ion AmpliSeq Designer V1.2, Ion AmpliSeqLibrary Kit 2.0 and the new Ion Reporter Software, represent complete solutions for scientists researching the genetic basis of human diseases.

Sequencing the millions of cancer research samples stored in bio-repositories around the world is a primary unmet need of the cancer research community. Analyzing these samples using next generation sequencing (NGS) has been difficult, as typically only nanogram amounts of DNA can be isolated, far less than current commercial protocols require. In addition, NGS creates a flood of data, requiring expensive bioinformatics expertise to interpret. The latest set of Ion AmpliSeqand Ion Reporterproducts from Ion Torrent offer turn-key solutions to overcome these challenges.

Bringing Simplicity and Speed to Disease Research Workflows

Ion AmpliSeq™ Panels, whether predesigned and therefore ready-to-use, or custom built to probe specific genes of interest, deliver a simplified, single day workflow comprising target selection, amplification, sequencing and analysis.  Further, when using Ion Reporter™ Software, the integrated workflow also includes annotated readout detailing the biological significance of observed gene mutations. The breakthrough Ion AmpliSeqtechnology requires only tens of nanograms of input DNA, compared to technologies offered by other companies that require hundreds of nanograms or even micrograms of starting material.  Orthogonal confirmation of variants observed with Ion AmpliSeqPanels is readily accomplished by selecting from 4.5 million ready-to-use TaqMan® SNP Genotyping assays or by designing a custom TaqMan® assay.  TaqMan® assays deliver "gold standard" sensitivity and specificity for SNP genotyping, and they may be analyzed in standard or digital PCR mode if increased sensitivity is required to detect low frequency or somatic mutations.

Scalability Demonstrated With Latest Edition of Ion AmpliSeqDesigner Software

Initially launched in March, Ion AmpliSeqDesigner has been immediately adopted by researchers world-wide, with over 1,000 custom designs submitted since inception.  Ion AmpliSeqDesigner Version 1.2 provides an additional leap in performance by generating up to 3,072 amplicons in a single tube — allowing capture of up to 1 Mb of genetic sequence.  This high level of multiplexing streamlines the workflow by ensuring that only 1 or 2 primer pools are needed for custom designs and also reduces the amount of input DNA required for analysis. Ion AmpliSeqDesigner delivers exceptional performance, with target design rates and coverage uniformity up to 98%.

Improved Performance of Ion AmpliSeqCancer Panel

In October of 2011 Ion Torrent launched the Ion AmpliSeqCancer Panel, which has quickly become the product of choice for scientists working to advance clinical cancer research. Now, by pairing this 46 gene cancer hot spot panel with the new Ion AmpliSeq Library Kit 2.0, scientists can detect rare somatic mutations and enjoy 98% coverage uniformity and further reductions in strand bias.

New Ion AmpliSeqComprehensive Cancer Panel

With input from leading cancer research institutions, the Ion AmpliSeqComprehensive Cancer Panel (CCP) reveals tumor mutation profiles and is optimized for use with formalin fixed paraffin embedded, (FFPE) tissues. This panel allows sensitive, high coverage detection of rare genetic variants by employing more than 16,000 primer pairs targeting over 400 genes involved in tumor formation. Compared to whole exome sequencing, Ion AmpliSeqCCP requires only 40 ng of input DNA, has a significantly lower price, and provides nearly 10-fold better coverage of individual genes, providing better sensitivity and specificity to detect somatic mutations.  The Ion AmpliSeq Comprehensive Cancer Panel delivers exceptional quality, with coverage uniformity and on target bases both greater than 90%.

"The Comprehensive Cancer Panel and Ion Reporter will allow us to quickly survey samples in our bio-repositories and understand the signatures of different cancer types," stated Dr. Marilyn Li, Professor in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and Director of the Cancer Genetics Lab at Baylor College of Medicine.  Dr. Li added, "This will enable us to tackle key issues in cancer research: to define the nature and understand the pathologic behavior of cancer cells and to identify biomarkers that could help in the future to diagnose cancers at an early, curable stage or to optimize therapy for individual patients."

The Ion AmpliSeqComprehensive Cancer Panel can be paired with the Ion AmpliSeqCancer Panel or Ion AmpliSeqDesigner (, to generate focused custom panels for any human gene targets.

New Ion AmpliSeqInherited Disease Panel

Also launched today, the Ion AmpliSeq™ Inherited Disease Panel, (IDP) comprehensively targets 328 genes associated with 176 common Mendelian diseases, while accommodating analysis of compromised or degraded samples containing low input DNA. The new panel was designed in consultation with clinical molecular geneticists researching inherited diseases, and enables detection of both known and de novo mutations.  The Ion AmpliSeqInherited Disease Panel delivers exceptional quality, with coverage uniformity and on target bases both greater than 90%.

Removing Bioinformatics Barriers with Ion Reporter™ Software

The Ion ReporterSoftware is a first of its kind application that eliminates expensive and complex bioinformatics barriers, allowing rapid and simple identification and annotation of mutations to advance clinical research. The secure cloud-based software performs alignments, generates variants, and performs automated annotation on Ion PGMdata, revealing biological significance. Variants are classified into simple categories that are summarized into a report, allowing easier interpretation by researchers unfamiliar with sequencing.  Ion ReporterSoftware offers customizable workflows for multiple linked samples, enabling reproducible analysis for routine assays and sharing of Ion AmpliSeqexperiments across a geographically dispersed set of users, thereby accelerating team based research.  Ion ReporterSoftware will catalyze new and exciting clinical research applications developed by both Life Technologies and other external partners.  With Ion ReporterSoftware, researchers no longer need to invest in large expensive computing infrastructure and instead can benefit from the scalability of cloud computing.

All above mentioned products are For Research Use Only, Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

About Life Technologies

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) is a global biotechnology company with customers in more than 160 countries using its innovative solutions to solve some of today's most difficult scientific challenges. Quality and innovation are accessible to every lab with its reliable and easy-to-use solutions spanning the biological spectrum with more than 50,000 products for translational research, molecular medicine and diagnostics, stem cell-based therapies, forensics, food safety and animal health. Its systems, reagents and consumables represent some of the most cited brands in scientific research including: Ion Torrent™, Applied Biosystems®,  Invitrogen™, GIBCO®, Ambion®, Molecular Probes®, Novex®, and TaqMan®. Life Technologies employs approximately 10,400 people and upholds its ongoing commitment to innovation with more than 4,000 patents and exclusive licenses. LIFE had sales of $3.7 billion in 2011. Visit us at our website:

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