ddPCR reportedly provides quantification of target molecules with unprecedented precision and sensitivity.

Bio-Rad Laboratories purchased QuantaLife for $162 million in cash plus future milestone payments. QuantaLife has developed a digital PCR system called Droplet Digital™ (ddPCR) that provides quantification of target molecules with unprecedented precision and sensitivity, according to Bio-Rad.

“We are impressed with QuantaLife’s digital PCR technology and believe it will complement Bio-Rad’s existing amplification business,” says Norman Schwartz, Bio-Rad president and CEO. “This elegant solution expands the current state-of-the-art methods of quantitative PCR.”

Digital PCR provides researchers with a new tool for the detection of rare mutations including distinguishing rare sequences in tumors, precise measurement of copy number variation, and absolute quantification of gene expression, Bio-Rad explains. QuantaLife is based in Pleasanton, CA.

Bio-Rad’s last acquisition came in January 2010, when it completed the €45 million (about $59.9 million) purchase of some of Biotest’s diagnostic businesses. The deal included diagnostic products in the areas of blood transfusion testing, transplantation, and infectious diseases. Biotest’s diagnostic business also includes microbiological tests and systems for hygiene monitoring, particle counting, and molecular microbiology.

Since this diagnostic-focused acquisition, Bio-Rad inked a deal with Bruker to develop tools for biomarker discovery as well as with Ariana Pharma to work on an HCV-detection test. The company also received FDA approval for the RA diagnostic developed along with Axis-Shield, the BioPlex® 2200 Anti-CCP test.

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