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Agilent Technologies Announces Efforts to Streamline High-Throughput Sequencing


Broad Institute Researchers Present Findings at Advances in Genome and Biology Technology Conference about Using Oligo Libraries to Identify Mutations

SANTA CLARA, Calif.-Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced that findings stemming from the use of a novel method to further increase the value of high-throughput DNA sequencing were presented at the Advances in Genome and Biology Technology (AGBT) conference. The method combines oligonucleotide libraries developed by Agilent with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard’s production scale sequencing expertise, creating an efficient and highly multiplexed technique to capture targets for sequencing from genomic DNA.

Recent advances in sequencing technology have increased the speed of data acquisition. However, without accompanying improvements in the ability to select relevant portions of the genome, i.e., specific exons or chromosomal regions, the technology cannot achieve its full potential in studying the relationships between genes and diseases. Oligo Library Synthesis (OLS) provides, for the first time, great promise for eliminating this bottleneck by efficiently synthesizing custom mixtures of up to 55,000 different oligonucleotides, up to 200 bp in length, in a single tube.

“Agilent’s robust oligonucleotide synthesis capabilities enable us to make very long oligos,” said Yvonne Linney, Ph.D., vice president and general manager, Genomics at Agilent. “This, along with our greatly expanded portfolio of reagents, allows us to rapidly expand our footprint in genomics and life sciences in general. It’s extremely gratifying to see these combined capabilities, benefitting the research community in applications such as next-generation sequencing,”

At the AGBT meeting in Marco Island, Fla., Broad Institute researchers today presented findings that use OLS and next-generation sequencing to correctly identify several previously known somatic mutations and several new ones in certain tumor types.

“Our work with Agilent has allowed us to accelerate our development of these techniques,” said Chad Nusbaum, Ph.D., co-director of the Genome Sequencing and Analysis Program at the Broad Institute, lead investigator on this collaboration. “We prepare a labeled derivative of Agilent’s oligo libraries to use for direct capture of target sequences by hybridization. The method is highly multiplexed, with a simple, efficient and inexpensive laboratory process, thus overcoming the sample preparation bottleneck.”

The Broad Institute’s DNA sequencing group took advantage of the flexibility and quality of Agilent’s SurePrint inkjet oligonucleotide manufacturing technology. The institute is an early-access user of OLS, which Agilent plans to launch commercially later this year. The commercial offering will include bioreagents that will be compatible with a variety of next-generation sequencing platforms.

“We appreciate working with the Genome Sequencing Center of The Broad Institute,” said Emily LeProust, Ph.D., Agilent manager of Chemistry Development. “This collaboration benefits from their many years at the forefront of sequencing technology, and their vision of the potential for using sequence information to solve biological problems. For several years now, Agilent has been developing methods of synthesizing high-fidelity long oligonucleotides. Ushering this application to a point where it answers very important biological question is very gratifying.”


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