SBIR and STTR Success Story for
Illumina, Inc.

(Information Posted/Updated on 03/05/2004)

Illumina, Inc.
9885 Towne Centre Drive
San Diego, CA  92121

Contact:    Cynthia Allred
Phone:      858-202-4735
Web Site:

Project Title:  Automated DNA Synthesizer Using Tilted Plate Technology
Related Award(s):  R43 GM61511-01
Technology Developed:
The project developed ultra high throughput synthesizer of oligonucleotides which enabled Illumina’s technology of randomly assembled arrays. Centrifugation synthetic technology was applied to the challenging area of extremely moisture sensitive DNA synthetic chemistry.

Key Words:  DNA synthesis, automated synthesizer, SNP analysis, genotyping.
Uses of Technology/Products/Service:
An array of automated synthesizers was built and the specialized laboratory (Oligator Farm® facility) was created. This dedicated facility has now a capacity of over 400 million bases in one year (more than 20 million DNA of an average length 20). Output of this laboratory is used for internal consumption in the genotyping and gene expression products and services provided by Illumina, Inc, and serves the needs of external customers. Orders of custom oligonucleotides in the range of hundreds to tens of thousands are fulfilled promptly at industry leading prices. The quality of the production is carefully monitored not only at the end of the synthesis by classical analytical techniques (capillary electrophoresis and mass spectrometry), but also every step during the synthetic process is evaluated in the real time by an application of noninvasive optical (proprietary) process.

Other Comments Related to Company's Success Story:
DNA synthesis uses very well established chemistry, which is, however, very sensitive to environmental factors (humidity). Having succeeded in building synthesizers delivering high quality oligonucleotides at the productivity level of Illumina’s Oligator Farm facility, we predict that the same synthetic concept can be applied in a number of other areas like peptides and oligosaccharides.

Past R&D and/or Sales from this Project:   $23 M