Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. and Illumina, Inc. have announced an exclusive partnership to develop the most comprehensive next-generation sequencing (NGS) workflow for single-cell analysis. The end-to-end commercial solution will enable high-throughput sequencing of thousands of individual cells, traditionally a challenging, costly and time-consuming process.
Most scientific studies rely on analysis of bulk tissue samples. These samples are usually composed of multiple cell types with varying functions. Gene expression data is averaged across cells, making it difficult to identify differences between cells and to understand the role of cell variation.
Single-cell sequencing addresses those challenges and provides deeper insight into cell function, disease progression and therapeutic response. These data can be important in studies of neurological tissues, for example, which are known to have hundreds of specialized cell types.
Using Bio-Rad's best-in-class droplet partitioning technology and Illumina's leading NGS technologies, the new solution is optimized to isolate and barcode single cells for downstream sequencing. Data analysis is conducted via BaseSpace, Illumina's cloud-based genomics computing environment. The solution will be scalable to isolate significantly larger numbers of single cells compared to commercially available solutions today, in just a few minutes at a cost-effective price.
"We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Illumina, the global leader in NGS technologies, to develop this long-awaited platform for single-cell genomics," said Annette Tumolo, Bio-Rad Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Biology Center. "Through this partnership, we will deliver a seamless, yet scalable solution for single-cell gene expression analysis."
"By collaborating with Bio-Rad, both companies will be able to serve the significant market for single-cell NGS, enabling scientists to make groundbreaking advances in gene expression and beyond," said Christian Henry, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Illumina. "Bio-Rad is recognized for delivering trusted, high-quality products in a market with increasingly stringent regulations and standards. We look forward to working with them on such an important endeavor."
The companies expect to launch the solution in late 2016 or early 2017.