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Agilent Acquires Halo Genomics for Target Enrichment Tech


Agilent Technologies said today that it has acquired Halo Genomics, a privately held Uppsala, Sweden-based provider of sample prep tools for next-generation sequencing.

According to Agilent, the acquisition of Halo and its HaloPlex target enrichment technology will help accelerate Agilent's entry into the next-generation clinical sequencing market.

The HaloPlex technology prepares PCR products for pooling and direct sequencing by combining single-tube amplification and library preparation, which offers the speed and specificity of PCR-based systems with the scalability and capture-size flexibility of solution-based hybridization, according to Halo.

The kit can amplify up to 2,000 target exons in one tube, which can then be pooled and sequenced directly without modification.

HaloPlex is customizable, and uses a Web-based design tool called Web Design Wizard that allows customers to create designs in less than 10 minutes, the companies said.

Agilent already offers the SureSelect target enrichment platform, which it claims is the most commonly cited target-enrichment tool on the market. Agilent said that HaloPlex will complement SureSelect by providing a "high-performance solution for small capture sizes, at a speed that specifically addresses the needs of the desktop sequencing market and clinical sequencing space."

In April, Halo said that it had signed a co-marketing agreement with Life Technologies to make HaloPlex a recommended method for target enrichment with Life Tech's 5500 SOLiD Series sequencers. In October, Halo released a HaloPlex PCR kit with sample barcodes designed to work with Illumina next-gen sequencers.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Halo's 15 employees have been transferred to Agilent, the companies said.

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