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Jul 17, 2012

With Navigenics Purchase, Life Tech Builds a Diagnostics Future

  • In what it called a first step toward building out its molecular diagnostics business through acquisitions as well as internal development and partnerships, Life Technologies has acquired genetics-based products and services provider Navigenics for an undisclosed price.

    Life Tech said the combined company will marry its technology to Navigenics' experience, informatics and other tech platforms, user interfaces, genomic support services, and CLIA-certified laboratory, which Life Tech said will be used for design and validation of new diagnostics assays.

    “Navigenics has pioneered the synthesis and communication of complex genomic information, and we will now pivot the company's effort to date and focus on becoming a comprehensive provider of technology and informatics to pathologists and oncologists worldwide," Ronnie Andrews, president of Medical Sciences at Life Technologies, said Monday in a statement announcing the acquisition.

    In addition to developing and offering lab-developed tests and commercialized assays approved by FDA and other regulators, Life Tech said it will also continue to build partnerships with pharmaceutical companies for companion diagnostic development, including participating in clinical trials. In October 2011, for example, Life Tech announced a partnership to develop a companion diagnostic for GlaxoSmithKline's MAGE-A3 cancer immunotherapy.

    Last month Life Tech made two announcements signaling increased interest in diagnostics—namely collaborations with Boston Children's Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to develop next-generation sequencers for clinical research in pediatric diseases.

    "Life Technologies' entry into the clinical diagnostics market, coupled with the scope of their clinical vision, signals that personalized medicine is no longer a distant future promise, but today's reality," Vance Vanier, M.D., president and CEO of Navigenics, said in the statement.

    The Navigenics Health Compass set of genetic analysis services will not take in new business but will honor existing commitments, the companies said.

    Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

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