Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced the first expansion of the SureGuide pooled CRISPR libraries for functional genomics, offering pooled libraries for CRISPR activation and interference (CRISPR a/i). The announcement was made at the American Society for Human Genetics Conference (ASHG), being held October 17 - 21 in Orlando, Florida.

Every SureGuide CRISPR library is synthesized using Agilent’s advanced SurePrint DNA synthesis platform, simultaneously printing billions of DNA bases with industry-leading sequence fidelity and superior representation. The flexibility of Agilent's platform now brings to researchers CRISPR a/i libraries incorporating gene targets developed by the University of California, San Francisco, CA.

“CRISPR activation and repression are novel research applications that will dramatically expand the utility of genome engineering, potentially revolutionizing disease research,” said Kamni Vijay, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Genomics Solutions Division and Clinical Applications Division. “This expansion of our SureGuide portfolio is an example of Agilent’s continued commitment to enabling new discoveries using CRISPR technology.”

Genetic screens using pooled libraries are typically performed to locate and identify genes that are involved in cellular response, such as in signaling pathways, or to discover the function of novel genes. While CRISPR knock-outs target individual genetic regions, CRISPR a/i libraries target transcription start sites throughout the genome. These novel tools allow researchers to turn up, or down, the expression of individual genes and screen the resulting phenotypes. These new libraries complement the existing offering of genome-wide libraries and promise to accelerate drug discovery and functional genomics research.

SureGuide CRISPR a/i libraries are offered in both Ready-to-Clone and Ready-to-Amplify formats. With Ready-to-Clone libraries, scientists can specify the sequence of each guide in the library or choose from validated predefined subsets, such as kinases or cancer genes, of the genome. With Ready-to-Amplify libraries, scientists can fully design every aspect of the library including the tracer sequence, allowing for the use of alternative delivery systems, guide structures, and cloning approaches while targeting any organism of choice.

Agilent will host a workshop on October 20th at ASHG, where the CRISPR a/i libraries and workflow will be highlighted. In addition, customers will speak about their novel research applications using SureGuide CRISPR Libraries.