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Agilent Acquires Population Genetics Technologies' Molecular, Sample Barcoding IP

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Agilent Technologies announced after the close of the market Monday that it has acquired the molecular and sample barcoding patent portfolios of Population Genetics Technologies.

The acquired IP includes patents related to both molecular and sample barcoding that improve accuracy and sensitivity of next-generation sequencing detection. The combination of these patents provides for customizable target enrichment solutions that enable detection of ultra-low mutation frequencies in very small quantities of DNA, the company said. These features are best suited for detection of rare variants in cancer and reproductive genetics, including by liquid biopsy.

"Our customers are increasingly requiring fully integrated next-generation sequencing workflows with the highest performance," Herman Verrelst, vice president and general manager of Agilent's genomics division, said in a statement. "With the addition of this IP portfolio, we can now deliver complete target enrichment solutions to our customers that they can trust, from QC to target enrichment, to analysis and interpretation that meets this demand."

The company also noted that its newest NGS library prep solution, the Agilent SureSelectXTHS, incorporates molecular barcodes from this IP portfolio, as the two firms had a previous licensing arrangement providing Agilent with licensing rights to certain Population Genetics molecular barcode patented technology.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Population Genetics was formed in 2005 to commercialize the intellectual property portfolio of biologist Sydney Brenner, and became an IP-holding entity with over 30 patents in 2015.