SPT Labtech to co-market streamlined NGS library preparation workflows for both PCR and PCR-free applications with Roche


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firefly with Roche KAPA EvoPlus kitCambridge, UK, 19 March 2024 SPT Labtech, a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of automated instrumentation and consumables for life science applications, announces its co-marketing collaboration with Roche to deliver a streamlined method for Illumina-compatible Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) library preparation. By leveraging SPT Labtech’s all-in-one automated liquid handling platform, firefly®, this collaboration offers genomics researchers fully automated workflows for Roche’s KAPA EvoPlus and KAPA EvoPlus PCR-Free Kits (For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.)

The combination of these technologies enables significant time savings in the laboratory for whole genome sequencing applications. This automation gives users the ability to run 96 samples at once, a substantial increase in throughput compared to manual operations. Moreover, this enhancement not only boosts productivity but also significantly reduces the risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI), a common concern associated with manual pipetting in high-volume sequencing tasks.

Some of the key benefits of the KAPA EvoPlus Kits are their versatility and adaptability to both low- and high-throughput applications, including both PCR and PCR-free methods. The kits require minimal input material (as low as 10 ng) and feature a tuneable enzymatic DNA fragmentation process. These kits are designed to offer consistent fragmentation performance, resistance to fragmentation inhibitors, and the ability to minimize sequencing artefacts, thus ensuring high-quality sequencing results. Furthermore, the KAPA EvoPlus Kits include ready-to-use ReadyMix reagents and are automation friendly with sufficient volume overage in the 96 and 384 reaction packs, as well as plated 96-well formats.

firefly® is SPT Labtech’s all-in-one automated liquid handling solution developed specifically for the complexities and requirements of genomics workflows. It streamlines NGS library and sample preparation by combining multiple capabilities including pipetting, dispensing, incubating and shaking within a compact, benchtop unit. firefly heralds a new era in laboratory efficiency and workflow optimization, empowering researchers to dedicate more time to their core work.

The efficiency and reliability of this automated workflow have been demonstrated in a published technical note. The study reveals that the NGS libraries produced using firefly® are highly comparable to those prepared manually, both in terms of final yield and expected fragment size (approximately 300-400 bp). Importantly, the automated process exhibited minimal variation across a 96-well plate, ensuring consistent and dependable results.

Current firefly® users can now access and implement this protocol through the cloud-based firefly community.

“This collaboration represents a further advancement for the genomics community, offering an optimized, reliable, and efficient approach to NGS library preparation. By significantly reducing manual labor and time requirements, researchers can redirect their focus to more critical aspects of their work, thus accelerating the pace of scientific discovery and innovation. As we continue our collaboration with Roche, we are working towards automating the KAPA Library Quantification Kit to deliver even more ready-to-use automated protocols to genomics labs,” says Paul Lomax, Head of Genomics of SPT Labtech.