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GeneWiz, Nashville Biosciences Collaborate to Combine NGS Services, Biobank DNA Samples

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Genomics services provider GeneWiz and bioinformatics and genomics company Nashville Biosciences announced today at the American Society of Human Genetics conference that they are collaborating to combine Nashville Bio's BioVU biobank with GeneWiz's next-generation sequencing services.

BioVU, which was created and is housed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, contains more than 250,000 DNA samples and 2.8 million de-identified patient records, Nashville Bio said. When paired with GeneWiz's NGS services, the companies are aiming to develop a product that will provide researchers with everything from project consultation and design to data analysis.

Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Nashville Biosciences' BioVU technology, coupled with GeneWiz's expertise and experience with next-generation sequencing, will provide researchers a wealth of high-quality, annotated human samples, adding statistical power to their retrospective cohort studies," Ginger Zhou, vice president of global next-generation sequencing for GeneWiz, said in a statement.

Nashville Bio Founder and Chief Operating Officer Leeland Ekstrom also noted that combining the companies' products into one solution could "encourage the rapid discovery and development of precision drugs and therapeutics."

Also at ASHG today, GeneWiz introduced new NGS services including whole-exome sequencing and whole-genome sequencing. The firm —which is headquartered in South Plainfield, New Jersey, and has locations throughout the US, Europe, and Asia — also offers a variety of genomic services, including Sanger sequencing, gene synthesis, cloning and mutagenesis, and oligo synthesis.

In September, GeneWiz announced that it was being acquired by Brooks Automation. Terms of that transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the year, were not disclosed. Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based Brooks provides automation and cryogenic products and services for a range of industries, and offers biological sample management solutions through its life sciences division.

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