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Bio-Rad gets new DNA sequencing offering with GnuBIO buy

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

Life sciences research and clinical diagnostic specialist Bio-Rad Laboratories has moved into the DNA sequencing sector, purchasing GnuBIO for an undisclosed fee. The privately-held Cambridge, Massachusetts firm has developed a “faster and fully integrated” droplet-based sequencing technology that produces results in a few hours instead of days, according to the company, and can be used in medical diagnostics as well as research markets. According to GnuBIO’s website: “Whereas other sequencing technologies require separate workflows for target selection, DNA amplification, DNA sequencing and analysis, the GnuBIO technology integrates the entire workflow into a single, low-cost instrument.” Jefferies analyst Brandon Couillard said he was "disappointed to see another early-stage dilutive acquisition," estimating that it would hit Bio-Rad to the tune of around $20m per year. However, the analyst added: "While Bio-Rad's foray into next-generation sequencing makes us somewhat skittish, [it] is clearly investing for future market developments and its stellar acquisition track record has earned it the benefit of the doubt here." He concluded: "We expect Bio-Rad to bring significant technical & commercial know-how to GnuBIO, owing to its well-established presence in droplet digital PCR with QuantaLife."

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