Illumina acquires Epicentre Biotechnologies

Seeking to enhance its sample preparation and enzyme portfolio, Illumina Inc. announced Jan. 11 that it has acquired Epicentre Biotechnologies, a provider of nucleic acid sample preparation reagents and specialty enzymes used in sequencing and microarray applications.

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SAN DIEGO—Seeking to enhance its sample preparation andenzyme portfolio, Illumina Inc. announced Jan. 11 that it has acquiredEpicentre Biotechnologies, a provider of nucleic acid sample preparationreagents and specialty enzymes used in sequencing and
microarray applications.
According to Illumina, the company was attracted by theprospect of having direct access to Epicentre's Nextera technology fornext-generation sequencing library preparation, which Illumina says "greatlysimplifies genetic analysis workflows and reduces time from sample preparationto answer." Nextera, Illumina says, will enable researchers to preparesequencer-ready libraries from genomic DNA with less than 15 minutes ofhands-on time, representing significant timesaving compared to alternatemethods. In addition, Nextera technology requires 10 to 100 times less startingDNA, which enables applications with limited starting material such as tumorbiopsies, degraded DNA or purified RNA, according to Illumina.
These features are critical to advancing the evolution ofnext-generation sequencing, said Illumina President and CEO Jay Flatley in astatement.
"Epicentre's Nextera technology provides a step-changeimprovement in library prep that will translate into greater ease of use, lowercosts and faster turnaround times for sequencing applications," Flatley added."In addition to Nextera, Epicentre is a leading supplier of specialty enzymesand kits that are beneficial to Illumina's technologies."
Specifically, the combined company will be able to offer anend-to-end solution for next-generation sequencing, microarray and real timePCR applications, Illumina says.
Founded in 1987, Epicentre has R&D and manufacturingfacilities in Madison, Wis. The company's kits and reagents for DNA and RNAsequencing, gene expression analysis, DNA and RNA purification, PCR and RT-PCR,cloning, in-vitro transcription andmicrobial genomics are used worldwide by academic, commercial, and governmentlaboratories in diverse applications, including basic research, drug discovery,cancer research, infectious disease research, microbiology and personalizedmedicine.
Commenting on the acquisition, analyst Deutsche Bank raisedits price target to $77 from $75, adding, "the firm believes that the companyis in a dominant market position in the high-growth genetic analysis markets."

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