Watchmaker Genomics launches rapid RNA library preparation solution for challenging oncology applications

Watchmaker Genomics announced an expansion of its next-generation sequencing (NGS) library preparation portfolio aimed at supporting whole transcriptome sequencing applications.

The Watchmaker RNA Library Prep Kit with Polaris Depletion streamlines and simplifies the library preparation process to enable the generation of sequencing-ready, stranded libraries in under 4.5 hours, including combined ribosomal RNA and globin mRNA depletion. The workflow is broadly accommodating of both intact and degraded samples with inputs ranging from 1 ng to 1,000 ng. For high-throughput facilities, automatability is significantly improved through a reduction in purification and handling steps.

In particular, the workflow addresses pain points associated with processing challenging clinically relevant sample types, such as formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) material and low-input samples. FFPE RNA library preparation can be difficult due to the presence of template damage and cross-links. Many factors upstream of library preparation dictate resulting RNA quality, including fixation process, block age and storage, and RNA extraction methodology. The Watchmaker solution incorporates a novel FFPE treatment step that improves performance across FFPE blocks and minimizes variability between extraction methods.

Performance with degraded and low-input samples is further improved through the use of a reverse transcriptase (RT) specifically engineered to improve the conversion of RNA to cDNA. This helps enable quantitative gene expression profiling across a wide range of input amounts, where other commercially available solutions may result in data distortion with diminishing RNA mass. The selected RT is the result of a complex development effort that leveraged Watchmaker’s expertise in computational biology, enzyme engineering, and high-stringency protein manufacturing. Numerous M-MLV RT variants were engineered and deeply characterized for performance in RNA sequencing in an iterative development loop. This work not only resulted in the identification of a standout variant, but also a suite of variants with a broad range of useful properties for applications beyond RNA-seq – made available under the StellarScript brand.

“This work highlights the value of Watchmaker’s vertical integration model. The ability to purpose-build enzymes and layer them into highly optimized application solutions both enhances performance and provides significantly more control and tunability in each individual reaction within the application. This translates to meaningful improvements in data quality and workflow for our customers,” said Brian Kudlow, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer.

The new RNA solution complements Watchmaker’s existing NGS DNA library preparation portfolio, which is already well-positioned for highly sensitive applications. Both portfolios increase success rates with FFPE-derived samples and improve access to quantitative and clinically relevant data for oncology applications.

Watchmaker will be presenting on their differentiated RNA and DNA NGS portfolios at the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) conference from November 1st – 5th in Phoenix, AZ. For more details on Watchmaker’s portfolio, visit

SourcePR Newswire

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