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Roche designs online software for sequencing business

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Read on if you are a hard-core genomic sequencing geek. As life sciences research goes online, Roche ($RHHBY) has developed web-based software called the NimbleDesign tool. The software enables the company's customers to quickly design SeqCap EZ Choice Libraries. The goal of the software is to improve the process of target enrichment custom design for next-generation sequencing.

Genomic sequencing can require multiple steps and reagents before researchers understand the DNA code. As sequencing becomes fast and cheap, researchers have been able to access the technology for their genomic studies. Roche's NimbleDesign software ultimately helps researchers make purchase decisions, with some bells and whistles such as an empirically optimized probe database.

"NimbleDesign is based on years of target enrichment design experience from our bioinformatics experts," said Thomas Schinecker, president of Roche Sequencing Solutions, in a statement. "Following the very positive feedback we received from pilot users in selected regions we are excited to offer this software tool globally now. It marks another step in our ongoing efforts to improve the customer convenience of our target enrichment portfolio."

Roche has mounted previous efforts to buy its way into a leading position in the business of providing the hardware for next-generation sequencing, with its purchase of 454 Life Sciences and more recent failed bid to acquire Illumina ($ILMN). Sequencing technologies have become a multibillion-dollar business and key tools in the genomics revolution in healthcare.

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