Agilent introduces human copy number variation microarrays for study of diseases

23 April 2009

Agilent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:A) has introduced the Human CNV Association 2x105K microarray for studying associations between genomic copy number variations (CNV) and disease.

The array is based on a design by the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC), which is conducting the world’s largest study of CNVs and their relationships to a number of widespread disorders.

“This array design is enriched for approximately 11,000 previously identified CNV locations along the genome,” said Chris Grimley, Agilent senior marketing director, Genomics. “The result is a highly validated, cost-effective CNV association tool, and we’re very pleased to be making it commercially available to the wider research community.”

In August 2008, the WTCCC selected Agilent to manufacture the microarrays for the landmark CNV study; this commercial product is a result of that relationship. This array is the latest extension of Agilent’s CNV and similar comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) microarray portfolio, Agilent’s fastest-growing product area.

“We have used the Agilent 2x105K array for characterizing common structural variants in several different disease cohorts over the last several months,” said Dr Matthew Hurles of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. “Our preliminary estimate is that approximately 20 to 30% of the loci on the array are both polymorphic in our British-population study and provide sufficient data quality to assign integer copy numbers to individuals.”

As the name indicates, the Agilent Human CNV Association 2x105K is configured with two microarrays per 1 in. x 3 in. slide, each array containing 105,000 probes. Agilent’s 60 mer, high-fidelity optimized probes deliver unsurpassed sensitivity and precise copy number detection. The comprehensive design of this array results in more calls with fewer data points because of targeted content in high-confidence CNV regions.

New labelling kit cuts costs, boosts throughput

Agilent also introduced the Genomic High-Throughput Universal Linkage System (ULS) Labeling Kit, along with the Genomic DNA 96-Well Purification Module. The new kit is four times faster, easier to automate with fewer steps and, depending on array format, can reduce labeling cost-per-experiment by as much as 60 percent.

The labeling kit generates Cy-labeled genomic DNA targets for use with Agilent CNV and CGH microarrays. It utilizes Kreatech’s ULS technology to label genomic DNA isolated from tissue, cells, blood or formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) samples. This non-enzymatic labeling method directly labels genomic DNA with fluorescent dyes, bypassing challenges presented by degraded samples.

The Agilent Genomic High-Throughput ULS Labeling Kit accommodates up to 48 samples and the Genomic 96-well Purification Module allows for simultaneous cleanup of 96 reactions, thus significantly improving the workflow compared to individual purification columns. Together these kits expand Agilent’s bioreagent offering and position the workflow for future robotic automation.

“We are very pleased that Agilent has selected our ULS labeling and purification technology, which we custom-tailored for high-throughput use in a 96-well format suited for automation,” said Harald Berninger, vice president of sales and marketing, Kreatech Diagnostics, the OEM supplier of the Agilent kits.

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