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Fluidigm, Sanger Institute, EMBL-EBI to Collaborate on Single-Cell Genomics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Fluidigm today announced a collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute to develop new methods of analyzing single-cell genomics data.

Fluidigm senior staff will work on-site at the Sanger Institute's Single Cell Genomics Centre in Hinxton, UK, delivering the latest equipment, workflows, and methods for genomics and proteomics research.

"Because we have early access to the most advanced technology, we can develop new experimental and computational methods that help us understand what is happening in each of our cells, at different points in the cell cycle," Sarah Teichmann, a senior group leader at the Sanger Institute and a research group leader at EMBL-EBI, said in a statement.

The partners will also work to make single-cell research more accessible to the research community by creating and sharing new workflows, bioinformatics tools, and data sets.

The collaboration builds on previous work between South San Francisco, Calif.-based Fluidigm and the Single Cell Genomics Center. Several scientists there, including Teichmann, have made discoveries in single-cell biology using Fluidigm technology such as the C1 Single-Cell Auto Prep system.

"Together, we can build better informatics tools to extract relevant biology from the massive amounts of single-cell RNA expression data that our systems generate," Fluidigm VP of R&D Robert Jones said.  "We'll also find innovative ways to determine the DNA, protein, RNA, and epigenetic state of each cell and to scale the process up to perform across thousands and millions of cells."

Financial and other details of the agreement were not disclosed.