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Bio-Rad Acquires Sequencing Technology Developer GnuBio

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bio-Rad Laboratories has purchased next-generation sequencing technology firm GnuBio for an undisclosed price in order to give it capabilities in the NGS space, especially for clinical applications, Bio-Rad said this week.

Cambridge, Mass.-based GnuBio is developing a droplet-based sequencing platform that uses "picoinjector" technology developed in co-founder David Weitz’s physics laboratory at Harvard University.

"We believe GnuBio's innovative DNA workflow is well-suited for the clinical diagnostics sequencing market and will leverage Bio-Rad's leadership role in the area of droplet digital PCR," Bio-Rad President and CEO Norman Schwartz said in a statement.

GnuBio has said that it is developing its platform specifically for the clinical market. The platform incorporates microfluidics and uses a picoinjector to inject 1-kilobase sized DNA fragments into microdroplets containing PCR fragments representing the amplicon to be sequenced.

The firm raised $10 million in a Series B round of financing last year and $8 million in a Series A round of financing in 2012. It began shipping its system to beta testers last year, and as reported by In Sequence, unveiled its platform as well as some accuracy data from 24 runs of a 36-gene panel at the Consumer Genetics Conference in Boston last year.