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Fluidigm, Next Gen Diagnostics Partner on Sample Prep for Clinical Pathogen Sequencing

NEW YORK – Fluidigm announced on Tuesday an exclusive partnership with the bioinformatics firm Next Gen Diagnostics (NGD) on sample preparation for sequencing-based pathogen surveillance in a healthcare setting.

Under the terms of the agreement, the partners will integrate Fluidigm's Juno microfluidic sample prep system into NGD's workflow for pathogen whole-genome sequencing in the third quarter of this year. Fluidigm will receive milestone payments beginning sometime this year as well as additional revenue over five years.

Other financial terms were not disclosed.

"Our partnership with Fluidigm will allow NGD to offer low-cost and high-throughput [whole-genome sequencing] for widespread use in hospitals," NGD CEO Paul Rhodes said in a statement. "By combining the cost reductions enabled by NGD's full bioinformatic automation with the Juno microfluidic sample preparation system, we can offer hospitals and public health laboratories the power of WGS at unprecedentedly low cost, enabling detection of pathogen transmission and surveillance of the spread of drug-resistant pathogens."

NGD, which is headquartered in Mountain View, California, and has a location at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the UK, has developed automated bioinformatics technology for whole-genome sequencing, which it has combined with automated sample prep and sequencing services to track pathogens in hospitals, with the goal of preventing outbreaks. The firm is also working on clinical diagnostics.

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