That’s A Wrap: A Perspective on This Year’s AGBT Conference

February 23, 2024

Written by Jonathan Slasinski, Head of Commercial Training & Education

While I often equate Orlando with Disney, Mickey, and Star Wars, I was excited to return to AGBT conference for the first time in 5 years to see the newest advancements of genomics technologies in person. I have always enjoyed the energy of this conference as well as seeing what new scientific developments are being announced. This year, like every year I have attended, did not disappoint. Not only did I get to directly experience the Singular G4X announcement and events, I also had a front row seat for most of the new product announcements from other companies attending AGBT. 

Spatial sequencing at scale with G4X was a huge hit at AGBT as evidenced by aconstant stream of attendees to our suite wanting to discuss how G4X can advance their current spatial projects. I had so many great conversations with attendees, but what really stood out was the enthusiasm for how G4X was changing the paradigm for scalable spatial sequencing, the ability to run both sequencing and spatial on one platform, and how this technology could accelerate projects at their own institutions. It was exciting to see how many people asked about early access and how they could utilize spatial technology access services. I also enjoyed hearing a few quips about how happy they were that there is still competition in this space.

At AGBT, we also unveiled the new F4 flow cell, further expanding the flexibility and throughput of the G4 Sequencing Platform. The F4’s additional capacity resonated well with some attendees who remarked that, with the F4 flow cell, the throughput of G4 provides a wide range of flexibility for their operational needs.

Networking continued at our two, well-attended technology talks—the Bronze talk and the breakfast talk—delivered by Eli Glezer, Michael Lawson, and Darius Fugere. It was great to see the number of cell phones capturing pictures of nearly every slide in each presentation.

As for other company announcements, it was exciting to see the new developments across the sequencing and spatial markets.  With announcements from Element, Ultima, 10x, and newcomer N6 Tec, the pace of evolution within the space is incredible to witness.  For me, the biggest surprise of the show was N6 (since when is PCR sexy and cool?) and the mic-drop moment was 10x’s GEM-X technology: ten-thousand genes in a single cell is beyond impressive for sensitivity and the best part is that, even with capturing 20,000 cells, it is still a great fit for sequencing on G4. 

Yes, AGBT is known for groundbreaking science and networking opportunities, but did you know about its reputation for epic parties? The parties on Tuesday night were taken to another level.Our Arcade Night at the Singular suite was a blast (yes, I am biased). The party was packed the whole time with people playing Pong, Plinko (for Singular swag), and Mario Kart. I mean, where else do you get a chance to play pinball while drinking a signature cocktail?

Watchmaker Genomics threw an amazing ‘80s party with guests dancing into the early morning hours. As always, it was just fun cruising from suite to suite to see who was there and check out the different party themes. 

AGBT 2024 held true to its reputation as a showcase for emerging technologies and an opportunity for networking and catching up with old friends at epic parties. I was impressed and encouraged by the scientific advancements unveiled and look forward to Singular continuing to be a part of groundbreaking science.

Drew Spaventa

Drew founded Singular Genomics in 2016 serving as the CEO and Chairman. Drew is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor in the biotech industry and has been involved in the founding of several successful companies. Prior to Singular Genomics, Drew founded Truvian Sciences, a low volume blood testing technology aimed at making routine blood tests easier, less invasive, and more affordable. Drew was also involved in the founding of Aspen Neurosciences where he co-led the seed financing and helped assemble a world-class team to combat Parkinson’s Disease using a patient’s own stem cells. Drew was also a seed investor and held an operating role in Edico Genome which sold to Illumina in 2018.

Drew received an MBA from the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from the University of California, San Diego.

Max Reads Application Note