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PacBio Collaborates with iLAC and Robotic Biology Institute to Develop Automated Workflows

Advanced Automation Aims to Optimize Service Lab Efficiency and Highly Reproducible Data Production from HiFi Long-Read Sequencing

 PacBio, a leading developer of high-quality, highly accurate sequencing solutions, announced a collaboration with genome analysis company iLAC, Inc. (iLAC) and Robotic Biology Institute, Inc. (RBI) to develop fully automated end-to-end workflows for PacBio’s Sequel II and Sequel IIe HiFi long-read sequencing systems by employing advanced robotics.

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Using technical information and feedback from PacBio, iLAC and RBI will work together to develop and validate automated high-throughput solutions on RBI’s LabDroid robotic system for deployment at iLAC’s genomic services facility in Tsukuba, Japan. These automated workflows will support whole-genome sequencing, targeted sequencing and Iso-Seq, PacBio’s industry-leading isoform-resolution transcriptome application, on PacBio’s Sequel II and Sequel IIe platforms.

“As our footprint around the world grows, collaborations like this help us support the diverse needs of our customers,” said Peter Fromen, Chief Commercial Officer at PacBio. “iLAC’s track record of success in offering highly innovative, advanced, and cost-effective fully automated sequencing workflows make them an ideal partner for PacBio. We believe this collaboration, and the automated sequencing workflows that may result from it, could support broader adoption of long-read sequencing in the market.”

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“By working with PacBio to automate its applications and workflows on RBI’s LabDroid, we believe we can optimize data consistency especially for larger projects, while reducing cost. We believe this collaboration will enable us to bring the advantages of highly accurate long-read sequencing to more scientists,” said Taka-Aki Sato, President and Chief Executive Officer of iLAC.

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LabDroid is the first humanoid robot especially designed for biological research and development use. Its highly skilled and precise movements can be used 24 hours a day to support high throughput projects, while freeing researchers to focus on other tasks.

RBI President, Kenji Matsukuma added: “Our humanoid robotic system emulates the skilled movements and maneuvers of humans, enabling automation of difficult jobs and going far beyond what standard liquid handlers can do. It is adaptable to a broad range of complex protocolsincluding preparation of sequencing libraries without human interaction. The true value of LabDroid is in its ability to reproduce workflows, increasing the likelihood that the highly accurate HiFi sequencing data will be uncompromised by variation that can result from manual processing.”

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