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Beckman Coulter Life Sciences, Watchmaker Genomics Partner for Automated NGS Library Prep

NEW YORK – Beckman Coulter Life Sciences said Tuesday that it has inked a partnership with Watchmaker Genomics to develop automated next-generation library preparation solutions.

Financial terms and other details of the deal were not disclosed.

As part of the collaboration, the two companies will codevelop automated NGS library prep workflows leveraging Watchmaker's DNA and RNA sample prep reagents and Beckman Coulter's Biomek i7 Dual Hybrid Liquid Handler, an automated liquid handling platform.

According to Beckman Coulter, one of the first outputs of the collaboration will be an RNA library preparation method that enables walkaway, automated processing of up to 96 libraries in under eight hours. Based on the Watchmaker RNA Library Prep Kit with Polaris Depletion, the method will support clinically relevant samples, including formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples, as well as input amounts as low as 1 ng.

"The genomics field requires innovative tools that address bottlenecks in both workflow and sensitivity while also delivering robust performance with highly challenging sample types," Kerri Stellato, chief commercial officer at Watchmaker Genomics, said in a statement. "This collaboration will deliver solutions that check all of those boxes — ultimately saving users time and operational bandwidth while improving data quality."

"This partnership fuels our mission to help labs of all sizes harness the benefits of automation to accelerate pioneering research discoveries, whether for NGS needs, sample management, drug discovery, functional screening, synthetic biology, or proteomics," Elsa Burgess, general manager of biotech workflow solutions at Beckman Coulter, said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Watchmaker inked a partnership with Volta Labs for electrowetting-based automated NGS sample prep.