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Illumina Acquires Fluent BioSciences

NEW YORK – Illumina said Tuesday that it has acquired single-cell technology company Fluent BioSciences.

The acquisition was funded with cash on hand, Illumina said, but the company did not disclose the amount.

After the transaction, the Fluent team will join Illumina and Fluent’s PIPseq technology will be integrated into the company’s product portfolio. Illumina said it plans to build on Fluent's technology to develop "full end-to-end solutions for single-cell analysis."

Meanwhile, Illumina also said it will remain "an open NGS platform" and will maintain and support its existing single-cell partnerships.

"The addition of Fluent BioSciences to Illumina will provide significant and new capabilities to our customers in a key growth area and advances our multiomics growth strategy," Steven Barnard, chief technology officer of Illumina, said in a statement. "Single-cell research opens doors to new areas of discovery, and Fluent's innovative, accessible, and flexible single-cell method will accelerate our ability to deliver full multiomics solutions for our customers."

Established in 2018, Fluent built its core product upon so-called particle-templated instant partition (PIP) technology, invented by company cofounder Adam Abate, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and his team. The company has since been developing particle-templated instant partition sequencing (PIP-seq) and commercializing the method into products for scRNA-seq.

Fluent previously inked a partnership with sequencing instrument maker Ultima Genomics to develop high-throughput single-cell transcriptomics kits.