IDT signs agreements with Washington University, Clear Labs

Integrated DNA Technologies

Tuesday, 06 August, 2019

IDT signs agreements with Washington University, Clear Labs

Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT), a US-based supplier of custom nucleic acids for genomics applications, has announced two new partnerships as part of its mission to break down the barriers in genomics research.

Seeking to increase access to the latest next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, the company has launched a preferred sequencing provider program with McDonnell Genome Institute (MGI) at Washington University in St. Louis. It is anticipated to be the first in a series of partnerships, as part of a wider IDT preferred sequencing provider program.

MGI has a rich history in genomics and was an early adopter of IDT’s sequencing technologies. Like IDT, MGI advocates for researchers by sharing its expertise with the community via comprehensive genomics services, which include sequencing, bioinformatics, clinical services and technical development. By working together, IDT and MGI will thus provide an exciting service for researchers, pooling MGI’s expertise in sequencing and informatics with IDT’s expertise in producing high-quality, reproducible and flexible products.

The partnership will also open up NGS to researchers who otherwise would not have access to facilities for large-scale genomics projects. By sending pilot projects to MGI, researchers can attain high-quality sequencing data, which can then be used to help them decide if larger studies are necessary and to support grant applications, helping to secure funding.

“We have worked closely with IDT for many years and are quite adept in using their products,” said MGI’s Director of Technology Development, Bob Fulton. “This new collaboration with IDT will enable MGI to provide world-class sequencing services to research teams that may have more limited sequencing sophistication or capacity. By leveraging MGI’s vast experience and expertise, those groups can focus efforts on other priorities.”

IDT has separately announced that it is extending its network of collaborations into food quality and safety, and so has signed a multiyear supplier agreement to be the primary supplier of NGS oligo products for genomics testing company Clear Labs’ automated and intelligent NGS-based food safety platform.

In designing its NGS-based food safety platform, Clear Labs wanted to provide in-depth analysis of food products. By coupling a high-throughput, fully integrated sample preparation and sequencing platform with scalable cloud software and real-time analytics, the company has created what it claims is the most powerful food indexing engine available today.

The technology doesn’t just detect whether food and environmental samples contain pathogens like Salmonella or Listeria, it also provides information on serotypes and strains. Clear Safety, the company’s flagship product, includes a software component that enables users to visualise contamination incidents on maps of their food plants.

Clear Labs recognised that, for its NGS platform to be viable, it needed to be cost-effective. Taking advantage of IDT’s expertise in designing high-quality and affordable oligos, the company agreed to a collaboration that is set to help provide food producers with fast and high-quality food safety testing, as well as expanding the application of IDT’s NGS products into a new area.

“Maintaining the accuracy of our testing platform is paramount, and so we have strict requirements for quality, quantity, speed and performance from our supplier partners,” said Ramin Khaksar, Vice President of Research and Development at Clear Labs. “To decide upon an NGS supplier, Clear Labs canvassed the DNA-writing/oligo industry and ultimately selected IDT as our primary supplier of NGS products. IDT meets all of our exacting needs and is able to fill our quantity requirements while delivering the necessary oligo-specific QC capabilities — something that array-based providers could not offer.”

“We are very excited to work with Clear Labs on their unique NGS-based food safety platform,” said Roman Terrill, Senior Vice President of IDT. “Our NGS products are often used to help research into complex diseases, such as cancer. With Clear Labs, we saw an exciting opportunity to help tackle an issue that affects every one of us daily — the quality and safety of our food. And our oligos met all the requirements set out by Clear Labs for their innovative approach to NGS-based food safety.”

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