Roche buys Stratos Genomics to boost development of nanopore sequencer

Roche announced Friday that it acquired Stratos Genomics for an undisclosed sum as it looks to provide an end-to-end sequencing solution for diagnostic testing. Through the purchase, the company gains Stratos Genomics' novel Sequencing by Expansion (SBX) chemistry that it plans to use to advance the development of its own nanopore sequencer.

"The Roche nanopore sequencer, once developed, will utilise a novel approach that combines electronic and biological components to sequence DNA for fast, flexible and cost-effective clinical diagnostic testing," Roche said. According to the company, the sequencer is expected to be used in multiple targeted clinical applications, along with whole exome and whole genome sequencing. Meanwhile, Stratos Genomics will continue operations in Seattle, Washington.

SBX is a single-molecule detection process that converts DNA into a larger surrogate molecule, called an Xpandomer, prior to analysis by a nanopore detector. In 2014, Roche invested in Stratos Genomics and entered into a research collaboration to support further development of efficient, low-cost sample preparation methods for DNA Xpandomers. 

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