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Expanding Life Science Footprint, Agilent Buying Halo, BioSystem's Assets

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Agilent Technologies today announced two deals that are expected to grow its footprint in the life science space.

The company said it has acquired next-generation sequencing sample preparation firm Halo Genomics and has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of drug development sample prep firm BioSystem Development.

Financial terms of the two deals were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Uppsala, Sweden, Halo was formerly called Olink Genomics. Its lead technology is HaloPlex, a PCR-based kit for targeted resequencing. According to Agilent, the technology "combines the speed and specificity of polymerase chain reaction-based systems with the scalability and capture-size flexibility of solution-based hybridization formats, thus eliminating the need for library preparation."

HaloPlex, Agilent added, complements its own SureSelect target enrichment products "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 a statement, Gustavo Salem, VP and GM of Agilent's Biological Systems Division in the Life Sciences Group, said that the acquisition will expand Agilent's portfolio for "emerging sequencing applications and accelerate our entry into the rapidly growing next-gen clinical sequencing market."

BioSystem Development, based in Madison, Wis., currently supplies Agilent's Automation Solutions business with AssayMap cartridges that are used with Agilent's Bravo liquid handling platform for protein purification and characterization workflows.

The AssayMap technology is based on disposable microchromatography cartridges, and allows for "high-throughput protein purification, characterization, and analysis solutions for bioprocess development, biomarker identification and analysis" and other life science research applications, Agilent said. Combined with Agilent's automated liquid handling products, AssayMap reduces drug discovery and development time and improves lab efficiency, it added.

Agilent's purchase of BioSystem's assets is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

"Life science is the growth engine for Agilent, and these acquisitions are strategically very important," Nick Roelofs, president of Agilent's Life Sciences Group, said in the firm's statement. "We're getting world-class technology and expertise in two key areas that will help us expand our portfolio and deliver the most complete workflow solutions for our customers."

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