Agilent Technologies, Covaris sign co-marketing agreement to streamline next-generation sequencing experiments

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Agilent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:A) and Covaris Inc. today announced a co-marketing agreement in which Covaris S2 DNA shearing technology will be marketed with the Agilent SureSelect Target Enrichment System to streamline next-generation sequencing experiments.

“Since next-generation sequencing workflows are complex and sample failure is costly, Agilent chose to develop its SureSelect protocols using best practice”

“Covaris provides an important sample preparation tool for shearing DNA evenly, and it has been adopted by next-generation sequencing thought leaders around the world,” said Fred Ernani, Ph.D., Agilent senior product manager for Emerging Genomic Applications. “As increasing numbers of investigators recognize the value of the SureSelect Target Enrichment System, they see even more value in combining it with Covaris’ DNA shearing technology.”

“Covaris is pleased to enter into this co-marketing arrangement with Agilent Technologies, a life sciences industry leader that recognizes the importance of controlling sample preparation to ensure quality results in sophisticated target selection applications,” said Jim Laugharn, Covaris president and CEO. “Advanced biological applications are currently experiencing exponential growth in data set output. Given this high level of production, it is even more critical to provide an engineered sample preparation process to control the quality of the starting material. We look forward to working with Agilent to bring high-quality sample preparation to SureSelect customers on a global basis.”

The Agilent SureSelect Target Enrichment System, introduced in February 2009, has been shown to greatly increase the speed and cost-efficiency of next-generation sequencing workflows used in life science research by enabling researchers to focus on genomic regions of interest rather than sequencing the entire genome. The Agilent system is based on an in-solution design, making it automation-friendly and easily scalable from 10 reactions through thousands, unlike other commercially available products for this application.

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 the probes very effective at capturing DNA-containing unknown mutations, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms, insertions or deletions.

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 has now been expanded to the newer SureSelect platforms. eArray allows researchers to easily design the tools they need without up-front design fees.

The Covaris sample preparation technology, which is based on its patented Adaptive Focused Acoustic (AFA) technology, brings speed and efficiency to biological and chemical sample preparation. The Covaris method accelerates next-generation DNA sequencing sample preparation by providing a highly predictable and reproducible DNA shearing methodology to the next-gen workflow while limiting the amount of sample DNA lost in the shearing process.

“Since next-generation sequencing workflows are complex and sample failure is costly, Agilent chose to develop its SureSelect protocols using best practice,” Ernani said. “Incorporating Covaris’ shearing into our protocols made the most sense. So far, SureSelect customers have found our protocols to be very easy to follow and extremely robust, so I believe we’ve made a good choice to recommend the use of the Covaris S2.”

As part of the co-marketing agreement, Covaris has developed a special SureSelect Accessory Kit to help customers integrate the technology into their workflows. This adds significant value for SureSelect customers who choose to buy Covaris S2 systems. Agilent will continue to work with Covaris to develop new SureSelect protocols and products, leveraging the benefits of both products to provide next-generation sequencing users with the most robust tools for targeted re-sequencing. 

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