Deal is largest in Agilent’s history and will bolster its life science and clinical testing presence.

Agilent is buying Danish cancer in vitro diagnostics firm Dako for $2.2 billion in cash on a debt-free basis. Agilent says the acquisition is the largest in its history, and will complement its existing life science business and boost its presence in the clinical diagnostics market. “In the rapidly growing diagnostics market, Dako’s products and capabilities are a strategic complement to Agilent’s existing offerings,” comments Bill Sullivan, Agilent president and CEO. “Dako is one of the world’s leading providers of cancer diagnostics tools, and together we will be able to develop a wider range of products.”

Tissue-based diagnostics firm Dako provides antibodies, reagents, instruments, and software to the clinical pathology market worldwide, and also collaborates with the pharma industry on the development of companion diagnostics. The firm reported annual revenues of some $240 million in 2010, and employs over 1,000 people worldwide.

Dako separately today announced a license, manufacturing, and distribution agreement with the Van Andel Research Institute for the development of cancer diagnostics utilizing the MET4 antibody. Under terms of the deal Dako will develop and commercialize MET4-based diagnostic tools worldwide. The firm also retains the right to develop MET4-based companion diagnostic assays in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies.

Today’s license agreement between Dako and the Van Andel institute represents the latest in a string of recent collaboration agreements. Since December Dako has announced two new cancer drug companion diagnostic development agreements with Amgen, and two collaborations with Genentech. The Genentech deals are focused on submitting regulatory filings to FDA for approval of Dako’s HercepTest™ and HER2 FISH pharmDx™ tests as companion diagnostics for identifying breast cancer patients who may be eligible for treatment with either pertuzumab or trastuzumab emtansine.

FDA approved Dako’s HER2 CISH pharmDx™ diagnostic test in December as an aid to identifying breast cancer patients who may be suitable for Herceptin® therapy. 

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