Agilent Technologies is acquiring two privately held firms to advance its scientific instrumentation business. Halo Genomics, based in Uppsala, Sweden, adds HaloPlex fast target enrichment technology to Agilent’s own next-generation rapid DNA-sequencing capabilities. Agilent expects the already completed deal to accelerate its entry into the next-generation clinical sequencing market. Separately, Agilent will acquire Madison, Wis.-based BioSystem Development, which supplies disposable protein purification cartridges to Agilent. The combination of Agilent’s automated liquid-handling systems with BioSystem’s cartridges reduces drug discovery time, Agilent says.