Illumina buys Fluent BioSciences to better speak the language of single-cell analysis

Despite letting go of Grail last month, Illumina isn’t shying away from M&A. The DNA sequencing giant has now acquired Fluent BioSciences to expand its reach in single-cell analysis and multiomics research.

Launched in 2018 with tech developed at the University of California, San Francisco, Fluent was previously backed by Illumina’s independent venture capital arm. The startup’s other investors have included Samsara Biocapital, Civilization Ventures, Co-win Ventures and VC23.

The Watertown, Massachusetts-based Fluent has marketed single-cell RNA and nuclei isolation kits based on its PIPseq approach, short for pre-templated instant partitions—which can sort out and label complex cell mixtures without the need for microfluidic consumables, prior to next-generation sequencing. The company also provides analysis software.

Fluent released its latest platform, PIPseq V, in late May. According to the companies, it is capable of quantifying molecules and detecting individual cell types from samples ranging from 100 cells up to…
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