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Illumina, Agilent to co-market targeted resequencing solution
by Amy Swinderman  |  Email the author

Illumina Inc. and Agilent Technologies announced April 20 that they have combined forces to create a new, scalable solution for researchers conducting targeted resequencing studies. The companies announced their partnership at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) 100th Annual Meeting 2009, being held this week in Denver.

The companies said they have entered into a global, non-exclusive co-marketing agreement that combines Illumina's Genome Analyzer next-generation sequencing platform with Agilent's SureSelect Target Enrichment System. Genome Analyzer enables researchers to sequence entire human genomes to greater than 30-times coverage, while SureSelect gives researchers the added benefit of sequencing only genomic areas of interest, replacing other labor-intensive methods of targeted resequencing such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques that can often be a major bottleneck in most next-gen sequencing workflows.

The combined solution, according to the companies, enables scientists to interrogate multiple regions of interest in order to detect rare mutations such as those commonly found in cancer, as discussed at AACR while taking advantage of low sample input requirements. In addition, targeted resequencing also enables scientists to sequence areas identified through genome-wide association studies in addition to sequencing candidate genes and candidate regions, the companies point out.

Jay Flatley, CEO of Illumina, says the partnership with Agilent is part of the company's strategy to build upon the utility of its next-generation sequencing technology, but it also is intended to help researchers plan and execute studies at a scale that until now has seemed impossible.

"We continue to expand our portfolio of solutions with powerful tools for studying genetic variation," Flatley says. "The solution provides the research community with a cost-effective, automation-friendly and flexible approach to targeted resequencing got a wide variety of applications."

The combined solution allows researchers to achieve timely, reproducible results, while reducing cost and increasing robustness, says Dr. Nick Roelofs, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Life Sciences Solutions unit.

"The Agilent SureSelect Target Enrichment System requires only standard equipment already in the next-generation sequencing workflow," Roelofs says. "The SureSelect platform draws upon Agilent's distinctive ability to accurately and reliably custom-manufacture oligos greater than 100 base pairs, resulting in highly specific capture of genome variance. The SureSelect System enables scientists to easily and efficiently design custom content through eArray probe design and incorporate automation for scalability and cost efficiencies."

The Illumina-Agilent collaboration will be described in greater detail in the June 2009 edition of DDN.



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