Roche unveils Avenio system to automate DNA sequencing sample preparation

Roche unveils Avenio system to automate DNA sequencing sample preparation

Next-generation sequencing has revolutionized the field of medicine, with labs now able to dig through a patient’s entire genome to locate even the tiniest indicators of disease. And while this technology works remarkably fast compared to traditional diagnostic methods, it still requires quite a bit of dedicated time and effort to prepare DNA samples for processing.

Roche’s newest offering, however, aims to cut down on that preparation time. The Avenio Edge system, which launched this week, automates the entire process of readying DNA samples and sequencing libraries for analysis—but stops short of performing the actual analysis.

The all-in-one system allows for constant tracking of each sample and also integrates directly into laboratory information systems for real-time delivery of the preparation workflow’s results.

According to Roche, the system reduces the amount of hands-on time required to prepare samples for sequencing by about 84%. A study to evaluate the system found that in just one run, the automated workflow is able to replace a total of 384 manual steps required to prep 24 DNA libraries for analysis.

Additionally, Avenio Edge arrives at sequencing labs equipped with ready-to-use components, requiring only about 20 minutes from setup to first use.

Because the system is entirely automated, it also helps cut down on human error in DNA sequencing. Roche said Avenio Edge can reduce error opportunity by more than 96%, preventing labs from having to re-collect samples that may be rejected because of mistakes made during manual preparations.

“Roche is committed to developing diagnostic solutions with the goal of providing the healthcare community with faster and more accurate medical information to predict risk and detect disease,” said Thomas Schinecker, CEO of Roche Diagnostics. “We are pleased to offer next-generation sequencing laboratories and translational researchers the new automated Avenio Edge system that aims to drastically reduce human error and help ensure fast, reliable and accurate results.”

The system will be available in Europe and the U.S., where it’s exempt from requiring FDA 510(k) clearance. It’ll initially be marketed for use in research use only workflows, with the instrument not meant to conduct diagnostic procedures.

This marks the second new addition to Roche’s Avenio next-generation sequencing portfolio this year. In October, the Swiss conglomerate teamed up with its Foundation Medicine subsidiary to begin rolling out a comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) assay to analyze more than 300 genes linked to cancer.

The Avenio Tumor Tissue CGP kit is available to labs across Europe, Asia and the Americas for research use only, allowing them to examine cancer-related genetic variants well before symptoms arise. Each kit can be used to run up to 24 DNA samples at once, with the assays designed to run on Illumina’s NextSeq analyzers.

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