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Roche Acquires NGS Target-Enrichment Tech from AbVitro

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Roche said today that it has acquired the exclusive rights to next-generation sequencing target enrichment technology from AbVitro, a company focused on therapeutic target discovery.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will collaborate to develop the technology, called primer extension-based target enrichment (PETE). Roche plans to use PETE to support next-generation sequencing directly from blood or other biological samples. In addition, Roche will incorporate the PETE technology into the Roche Sequencing Unit R&D pipeline to support its clinical sequencing strategy.

"The potential of this technology will allow Roche to optimize our sequencing portfolio to provide a full workflow solution for our customers," Dan Zabrowski, head of Roche Tissue Diagnostics and the Sequencing Unit, said in a statement. "We look forward to advancing this technology in order to streamline sequencing methods for easy-to-use clinical applications."

Francois Vigneault, president, CSO and co-founder of AbVitro, added in a statement that the technology "surpasses current industry standards and we believe Roche to be incredibly well positioned to create a true disruption in the next-generation sample prep market."

AbVitro is developing single-cell immune sequencing technology based on work by co-founder George Church of Harvard Medical School. According to the company, the platform enables the identification of complete natively paired B-cell antibodies and T-cell receptors across millions of single cells and can then be used to identify novel therapeutic targets and antibodies to cancer and autoimmune diseases.