American biotechnology company Illumina has signed deals with 12 customers to provide them with more than three million samples for its new Infinium Global Screening Array (GSA).

Initial customers of Illumina are human disease researchers at The Broad Institute and deCODE Genetics, Diagnomics, Codigo46, health systems Avera Health, Eone Diagnomics Genome Center (EDGC), Human Genomics Facility HuGeF, Erasmus MC, Sanford Health and UCLA Health System, genomic service providers Centre National de Genotypage, Life and Brain, and consumer genomics company 23andMe.

Designed as a highly economical tool, the GSA is used for genetic risk screening of large populations worldwide.

Illumina Applied Genomics vice-president and general manager Rob Brainin said: "The early adoption of the GSA, represented by these deals, illustrates the widespread market demand for genotyping products and the continued relevance of arrays in human disease and translational research.

"The early adoption of the GSA … illustrates the widespread market demand for genotyping products and the continued relevance of arrays in human disease and translational research."

"We expect that the value of the content on this array will lead to widespread use in clinical research, including precision medicine programmes, predictive risk screening, large scale genome-wide association studies, and in biobank sample characterisation and quality control."

With volume discounts facilitating price points below $40 per sample, the tool provides unparalleled genomic coverage and imputation performance across 26 continental populations.

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It also includes nearly 50,000 hand-curated variants that are relevant to clinical research, including newborn screening research, markers for pharmacogenomics, risk profiling and confirmation of putative clinical associations.

Leveraging the 24-sample Infinium format, GSA features 660,000 markers and also leaves provision for the cost-effective addition of up to 50,000 custom markers.

The GSA will commence shipping in the second half of this year.