Agilent Technologies, Life Technologies Co-Market Target-Enrichment System for Next-Generation Sequencing
22 Sep 2009

Agilent Technologies Inc. and Applied Biosystems have introduced the Agilent SureSelect Target Enrichment System, which is optimized for the SOLiD™ System, a next-generation advanced genomic analysis sequencing platform. As part of the agreement, the companies are co-marketing the SureSelect system, which is a unique research tool for efficiently re-sequencing specific regions of interest in the genome. The tool saves researchers tremendous amounts of time and expense, often enabling them to conduct studies that would otherwise not be feasible.

In advance of the commercialization, the SureSelect Target Enrichment System was made available to a number of research scientists using the SOLiD System on an early-access basis, including Dr. John McPherson, Cancer Genomics director at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). Research scientists at OICR are using seven SOLiD Systems to identify genes critical to the development of cancer.

“In the course of our cancer research, we will target several genomic regions with the SureSelect solution for sequencing on the SOLiD platform,” McPherson said. “The combination of the SureSelect enrichment and the accuracy of the SOLiD System will enable us to cost-effectively assess genetic variation across multiple tumor samples.”

Agilent’s target-enrichment product line offers customer-specified mixtures of up to 55,000 biotinylated RNA probes, delivered in single tubes. The capture probes are 120 base pairs long, the longest currently on the market for this application. This makes them very effective at capturing DNA containing unknown mutations, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms, insertions or deletions. SureSelect products are packaged for a range of study sizes, from tens to thousands of samples, and are well-suited for automation in very-high-throughput workflows, unlike other commercially available products for this application.

Users can design their own custom SureSelect mixtures using the Agilent eArray online design tool, which contains many key genomes and also lets users upload their own sequences. This intuitive, Web-based design tool is the heart of Agilent’s custom genomics product manufacturing capability and is now expanded to the new SureSelect platforms. eArray allows researchers to easily design the tools they need without up-front design fees.

“We’re delighted to pair the Agilent SureSelect Target Enrichment System with the massively parallel SOLiD technology in this way,” said Nick Roelofs, Ph.D., president, Agilent Life Sciences Group. “We’ve succeeded in developing a front-end method for isolating complex subsets of genomes that greatly enhances the efficiency of next-generation sequencing technologies like the SOLiD System. This can enable research scientists to gain new insights into the biology of their samples while running more samples at less cost.”

“By building a relationship with Agilent, we will be able to provide a solution to reduce sample complexity and ultimately allow research scientists to analyze a greater number of samples per study without sacrificing the accuracy associated with the SOLiD technology, currently unmatched in the life science industry,” said Shaf Yousaf, head of genomics analysis, Life Technologies.

Agilent offers a number of research products for the next-generation sequencing workflow, including automation solutions such as the Agilent Bravo Automated Liquid Handling Platform; the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer with high-sensitivity DNA kit; and Stratagene high-fidelity PCR enzymes.

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