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Blog: You can’t put a label on innovation, or can you?

Thu 20th May 2021

As our product line continues to grow, improve and mature, the teams here at Oxford Nanopore will continue to innovate and iterate.   

As a result, we are giving new classifications to our portfolio of products. These describe where they are in the spectrum of ongoing product development. In this blog we introduce four new product phases, so that you can make informed choices about your use of those products. 

Since the MinION Access Programme was launched in 2014, the Nanopore Community has played a critical role in the development and improvement of our sequencing technology — through device feedback, analysis tool development and putting the technology through its paces demonstrating diverse applications, quite literally at every corner of the earth. 

In that time, many platform upgrades and new product introductions have been delivered: 

Timeline showing key hardware upgrades and platform releases. 

Continuous platform improvement:  As we continue to invest in R&D, we will continue to roll out improvements in chemistry, new devices, new analysis algorithms. These have, for example, driven an improvement from ~90% to ~99% raw read accuracy with the latest tools, over the past two years.  We will continue to drive platform improvements, but for those wishing to freeze releases, the Q line is available. 

New devices:  As you know, we traditionally release our devices into the community early so that we can gain experience and feedback.  These devices are iterated, not just in product design but we also mature our manufacturing processes and the level of instruction and support that we deliver.  Our on-market devices are currently at different stages of maturity, and we – of course - plan to bring completely new technology to the market too. 

Introducing product phases 

It’s therefore important that we provide you, the users, on what to expect – whether that is clarity on product availability, warranty or change notification.  We are committed to providing a structured and transparent way to give access to new developments, to rapidly enable users in field with the latest concepts from the Oxford Nanopore innovation team. 

What are the product phases? 

We are assigning all our products with one of four product stages – these will be displayed in store listings at the point of order. This will make it clear to users where products are in their lifecycle and what degree of product availability, warranty and change notification is associated for each. The four phases are: Developer release, Early Access, Released and Fully released.  

Product phases and respective service warranty and change notification 

Note:  Product warranties and change notification periods increase through each phase. All products receive regular software and other platform upgrades and, irrespective of the phase, are rigorously checked and tested before being dispatched to users. These tests become more formalised as products progress, however the checks are always performed to ensure functionality in user hands. 

Product phases have no impact on pricing or ordering processes, they are simply there to provide users with guidance on how rapidly we expect to be applying changes to the product and our accuracy of shipping dates in store. 

What about Q-Line? 

In Q-Line products, software is frozen, and the product has been documented to a higher regulatory standard to assist labs with translational applications. You can find out more about our Q-line products here.  We have not applied these labels to Q line products. 

Thank you 

Thank you to everyone in the community who has helped us by giving us feedback or collaborating with us through the maturation of each of our devices.  

We look forward to continuing the rapid release of innovation through a multitude of early access programs whilst enabling all of you to take nanopore into production environments through Released and Fully Released products. 

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