Agilent Makes Some Major Moves in Biotech

Agilent has been in the news lately with three major announcements in bioinformatics, molecular biology and biotechnology.  What did we announce?

First, we introduced OneSight, a new product for studying cell-free DNA.  While most of your DNA is in your cells, a small amount circulates freely in your blood.

OneSight offers genetics laboratories a cost-effective way to perform high-quality cell-free DNA analysis in-house.  “With OneSight, researchers will be able to gain a deeper understanding of their sequencing data,” says Agilent’s Herman Verrelst, “and apply that to a wide range of applications, from the early detection of cancer to screening for fetal abnormalities.”

Second, we are expanding our offerings in molecular and synthetic biology.  Agilent SureVector next-generation cloning kits enable biologist to construct customized “vectors.”  These are small DNA molecules within cells that can replicate independently.

Agilent announced that we are collaborating with Eurofins Genomics to expand our offerings.  New SureVector kits contain standard parts for mammalian, E. coli and yeast cells.  And Eurofins offers the ability to create custom components for any organism.

“The Eurofins collaboration is an exciting step forward for SureVector,” says Agilent’s Alessandro Borsatti.  “It allows us to offer customers individual vectors or the ability to customize any fragment in the SureVector system.”

Finally, we announced an $80 million investment in Lasergen, an emerging biotech company.  Lasergen has pioneered an innovative technology for next-generation sequencing.

DNA sequencing is the process of determining the precise order of building blocks within a DNA molecule.  The resulting “sequence” tells scientists what genetic information is contained in a particular DNA segment.  Next-generation sequencing (NGS) refers to a broad set of capabilities that enable scientists to conduct DNA sequencing much more rapidly and cost effectively.

Agilent already offers several solutions for NGS, including SureSelect and HaloPlex.  The media has referred to Agilent’s Lasergen investment as the “final puzzle piece” that will enable Agilent to build a complete clinical NGS workflow for customers over the next several years.

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