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New England Biolabs, Hamilton Robotics Developing Automated Solutions for NGS Reagents

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – New England Biolabs and Hamilton Robotics today announced a collaboration to develop automated solutions for NEB's line of reagents for next-generations sequencing sample preparation.

The new solutions will be for the NEBNext reagent line and will include a low-input option for high-throughput Illumina library preparation. They also will enable researchers to completely automate library preparation protocols for Life Technologies' Ion Torrent instruments and the Roche 454 platform.

Hamilton is developing an "open" NGS workstation based on the Microlab STAR line of instruments. The workstation simplifies the setup of library preparation protocols, the two firms said, and supports throughputs from eight to 96 samples. Additionally, it reduces the time-consuming manual pipetting steps and sample-to-sample variability.

Initially, the development work will concentrate on the NEBNext Ultra DNA library prep kit for Illumina sequencers. Additional methods to be added later this year, Hamilton and NEB said.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"With the increased use of NGS comes the need for increased throughput of NGS library preparation," Fiona Stewart, product marketing manager, Next Generation Sequencing at NEB, said in a statement. "Partnering with Hamilton to automate our NEBNext kits on the Microlab STAR line instruments provides additional options for NGS users to easily scale up their library preparation workflows for a variety of sample types."

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