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DRUG-seq service

DRUG-seq boosts screening efforts based on RNA-seq by combining the RNA extraction-free, with massively multiplexed sample barcoding and extreme cost scalability.

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Bulk RNA sequencing at scale

Massively multiplexed RNA-seq offers unparalleled cost and throughput scalability.


Ideal for projects of all sizes

You can trust us. We have ran projects from as low as 6 samples to as many as 100'000.


Fast turnaround times

From samples to data in as fast as 1.5 months.


No prior RNA extraction needed

An optimized lysis buffer for complete lysis.

What we do


DRUG-seq service

The MERCURIUS™ DRUG-seq service offers the most comprehensive, high-throughput and cost-efficient solution for gene expression analysis projects starting from 2D cell cultures and organoids.

As part of the DRUG-seq service, we send our clients a proprietary Cell Lysis Buffer which is optimized for both cell lysis and downstream enzymatic reactions, without having to perform RNA extraction in between.

After mixing the Lysis Buffer with their cells, the client can send back to us their cell lysates, which are then ready to be processed in the DRUG-seq workflow.

By leveraging on the advantages the DRUG-seq system, such as cost-efficiency and high-throughput, we are able to offer the most competitive price and turnaround time on the market.

As a result of our service, our clients receive raw sequencing data (fastq files), gene count matrices and analysis reports files.

Optional downstream differential gene expression analysis are also available upon request.


How does it work

  • Alithea ships the Cell Lysis Buffer

    Sample submission guidelines for MERCURIUSTM DRUG-seq service - 96 samples Sample submission guidelines for MERCURIUSTM DRUG-seq service - 384 samples_ERCC
  • Client transfers the lysates to the provided well plate

  • Client ships cell lysates to Alithea

    Sample submission form for MERCURIUSTM  DRUG-seq service
  • 2 days

    MERCURIUS™ DRUG-seq for Illumina®

  • 1 week

    Library QC - Client Checkpoint

    (Qubit, Fragment analyzer, shallow sequencing)
  • 1.5 weeks

    Deep sequencing - Illumina

  • 1 week

    Data analysis and reporting - Client Checkpoint

    Example of sample report
  • Data

  • Optional: Alithea performs Differential Gene Expression analysis​

Sample datasets

  • Cell line-1


    Number of samples:
    Reads per sample in demo dataset:
    10'000 reads
    To have access to the deep-sequenced dataset (7.3 M reads per sample) contact us.
    Demo dataset file size:
    13.3 MB
    Cell line-1


    Number of samples:
    Reads per sample in demo dataset:
    10'000 reads
    To have access to the deep-sequenced dataset (3.9 M reads per sample) contact us.
    Demo dataset file size:
    4.76 MB
    Cell line-1


    Number of samples:
    Reads per sample in demo dataset:
    10'000 reads
    To have access to the deep-sequenced dataset (7.1 M reads per sample) contact us.
    Demo dataset file size:
    13.6 MB

Validated cell lines

  Cell line   Specie   Tissue  Culture type
  A375   h.sapiens   Skin, malignant melanoma   adherent
  GM12878   h.sapiens   PBMC, lymphoblastoid   suspension
  H295R   h.sapiens   Adrenal gland, carcinoma   adherent
  HAP1   h.sapiens   KBM-7 derived, chronic myelogenous leukemia   adherent
  hASC   h.sapiens   Patient-derived adipose stromal cells   adherent
  hASC-Adipocytes   h.sapiens   Differentiated hASC   adherent
  HEK293   h.sapiens   Kidney embryonic    adherent
  HeLa   h.sapiens   Cervix, adenocarcinoma   adherent
  HepG2   h.sapiens   Liver, carcinoma   adherent
  Huh7   h.sapiens   Liver, carcinoma   adherent
  iNeurons   h.sapiens   Differentiated iPSC   adherent
  MCF-7   h.sapiens   Breast, adenocarcinoma   adherent
  PANC-1   h.sapiens   Pancreas, carcinoma   adherent
  U2OS   h.sapiens   Bone, osteosarcoma   adherent


  • To guarantee high quality data, we normally request that each sample contains at least 200ng of total RNA in at least 10μl.
  • In addition to total RNA amount, it is important that the samples contain RNA of high integrity (RIN > 6) and are devoid of contaminants (Nanodrop A260/A230 between 1.8 and 2.2).
  • BRB-seq is 3’-end RNA sequencing method and, as such, requires significantly less sequencing as compared to standard full-length RNA-seq in order to reach accurate gene quantification. We therefore normally recommend to sequence 4 to 5 million reads for each sample, which enables the reliable and unbiased detection of over 18’000 genes.
  • As part of our standard service pipeline, we align the generated data to the genome of choice, provide a detailed report on the alignment and gene counting statistics and, finally, provide ready-to-use gene count matrices for downstream analysis.

See our products

Our BRB-seq and DRUG-seq kits make it possible to process virtually any number of RNA samples in one single tube, which helps reduce technical variation, turnaround times and costs.

Experience sample to sequencing-ready library in one day.

Discover our kits

Speak with our RNA sequencing experts

Need guidance or have questions about DRUG-seq and our service?

Easily book a call with our RNA-seq experts.