Boulder, Colo.-based Watchmaker Genomics, a life science tools company that specializes in high-performance genomics application development, and Newton, Mass.-based Molecular Loop, an industry-leader in molecular inversion probe (MIP)-based assays, have announced a collaboration to accelerate the commercialization of streamlined, high-stringency genetic testing for pathogen surveillance.

Watchmaker brings deep domain expertise in computational biology, high-throughput enzyme engineering, and large-scale enzyme production to further enable Molecular Loop’s advanced assay technologies. MIPs leverages highly redundant probe tiling and a streamlined workflow to eliminate the need for traditional shotgun library preparation, combining the sensitivity and specificity of hybridization-based target enrichment with the ease and scalability of amplicon-based assays. According to the two companies, their partnership makes it possible to deliver powerful new assays that address unmet needs related to throughput, performance, scalability, and consistency of supply.

“It seems difficult to offer differentiated solutions in today’s genetic testing market,” says Trey Foskett, co-founder and CEO of Watchmaker, “but there are still many challenges to address. We believe that our collaboration will result in broader access to a high-performance, customizable assay platform that can support applications in precision medicine, infectious disease, and biomarker discovery.”

The collaboration has already proven invaluable, as evidenced by the launch of Molecular Loop’s comprehensive SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel, a simple and highly scalable full genome next-generation sequencing targeted assay that is robust to strain variation. “Partnering with Watchmaker Genomics allowed us to incorporate customized enzyme formulations and quickly scale up manufacturing to meet the ever-increasing demand from our customers performing critical viral surveillance work,” says Eric Boyden, co-founder and head of research, development, and innovation at Molecular Loop. “When every sample counts, customers need a product and partners that they can rely on.”For more information, visit Watchmaker Genomics and Molecular Loop.