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10x Genomics Announces Two In Situ Sequencing Acquisitions



Editor’s Note: This story has been updated on 10/11 with further quotes and details from 10x Genomics.

By Bio-IT World Staff

October 5, 2020 | 10x Genomics today announced its second in situ sequencing acquisition: Boston-based ReadCoor, Inc. for cash and stock consideration of $350 million. In late August, 10x Genomics’ acquired Stockholm-based Cartana, developers of in situ RNA analysis technology.

“With these acquisitions, we add over 110 filed and pending applications to our already robust portfolio of 825 issued patents and applications. We will now have three teams that are based in Pleasanton, Stockholm and Boston, focused on building new In Situ technologies,” 10x Genomics CEO Serge Saxonov told Bio-IT World. “In addition, we get two of the pioneers in the In Situ field, Mats Nilsson and George Church, working with us as scientific advisors.  It’s a powerful combination and I am excited for what lies ahead.”

ReadCoor was spun out of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University in 2016. The foundational technology—fluorescent in situ sequencing, or FISSEQ—is spatial gene sequencing that simultaneously sequences RNA and visualizes their three-dimensional coordinates within whole cells and tissues. George Church’s lab published the proof-of-principle in Science in 2014 (DOI: 10.1126/science.1250212).

 

Cartana’s in situ technology allows researchers to analyze either fresh/fixed frozen or FFPE samples and rapidly create single-cell gene expression maps of up to hundreds of genes, according to the company. The technology came out of work from Mats Nilsson’s SciLife Lab at Stockholm University, and ensures high specificity and high throughput reliable, reproducible data. 

10x expects the ReadCoor acquisition to be completed later this month subject to ReadCoor shareholder approval and customary closing conditions; the Cartana acquisition has been fully completed. 10x will fund both transactions with a combination of cash from its balance sheet as well as stock.

“In situ is an emerging field with huge potential for researchers around the globe. Our goal has always been to anticipate the frontiers of biology and build products that accelerate science in exponential ways. We did this with single cell early on and launched Chromium in 2016; we did this again with spatial and launched Visium in 2019; and now we believe we are on the path to do the same with In Situ,” Saxonov said.

In situ approaches will give scientists the ability to measure large numbers of molecules directly in tissue by capturing the precise location of those molecules at sub-cellular resolution—approaches that Saxonov says are complementary to the company’s existing Chromium Single Cell and Visium Spatial platforms. The capabilities will enable 10x Genomics to extend its product roadmap to establish the foundation for a third technology platform, broadening the range of customers and enabling new translational and clinical applications. 

“With today’s announcement, we have the platforms that make up the three pillars—Chromium for single cell, Visium for spatial and now In Situ—to equip a boarder range of researchers with the tools they need to make discoveries they never thought possible and to enable new translational and clinical applications,” he says. “These acquisitions do not affect our commitment to the Chromium and Visium platforms. Both platforms are very early in their market adoptions and we will continue to invest aggressively in both of them.”

“We conceived of in situ approaches early on as the best way to perform genomic analysis and develop powerful clinical applications. Since then we have been innovating and building out an extensive range of capabilities to bring those ideas to reality and transform the world of biomedicine,” said Richard Terry, founder and CEO of ReadCoor in a press release. “We have followed and been impressed with 10x Genomics for years and look forward to combining forces as we execute on a shared vision.”

“Our team has been focused on developing In Situ technologies for a number of years, starting with work at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institute,” said Malte Kuhnemund, co-founder and EVP of R&D at Cartana in the same statement. “We are thrilled to join 10x and become a part of their Swedish research center in Stockholmas we continue to build and deliver products for scientists around the globe.

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