American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
June 2010 Clinical Laboratory News: Industry Profiles


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June 2010: Volume 36, Number 6

BioMérieux Buys Equity, Signs Deal with Knome

bioMérieux has partnered with Knome to collaborate on next-generation, sequence-based in vitro diagnostics, and has also purchased a $5 million equity stake in the company. As part of the agreement, Knome will have use of bioMérieux’s intellectual property in DNA extraction and sample preparation, and bioMérieux will have exclusive rights to license Knome’s proprietary genome analysis platform in the in vitro diagnostics market. This deal will launch bioMérieux’s development plans for a multiplex DNA sequencing platform intended for clinical labs that will focus on next-generation cancer and infectious disease diagnostics. “We are very excited to be working with Knome—their expertise in human genome analytics combined with our unique knowledge of in vitro diagnostics will allow us to create the diagnostic tools of tomorrow,” said Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer at bioMérieux.

Abbott Partners With State Public Labs on Biopreparedness

Abbott will allow four public health labs use of its new PLEX-ID Biopreparedness Evaluation Program (BPEP). The partnership, which includes the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and four state public health labs, aims to help identify, characterize, and genotype microorganisms as part of surveillance activities for infectious diseases, food safety, and biodefense readiness. The PLEX-ID program uses technologies like polymerase chain reaction for gene amplification and mass spectrometry analysis to identify bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, as well as unknown organisms within 6–7 hours, rather than the typical 3 days.

The Utah Department of Health is the first public health lab to use BPEP. “PLEX-ID addresses the complex challenges of microbial identification by detecting and characterizing both known and previously unknown organisms found in a variety of specimens,” said David N. Sundwall, PhD, director of Utah Department of Health. “The high-throughput technology offers our laboratory rapid detection and correct identification of a broad range of pathogens.” Other states employing BPEP are Minnesota, New York, and Virginia.

Perkin Elmer Acquires Signature Genomics Labs

PerkinElmer, Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire Signature Genomic Laboratories, LLC, a diagnostic genetic testing company. Signature’s services include diagnostic cytogenetic testing of chromosome abnormalities and microarray technology used in pre-natal and post-natal identification of DNA alterations associated with genetic disease. PerkinElmer plans to use these tests to help strengthen its own services in the molecular diagnostics market. “We are delighted to have Signature become part of the PerkinElmer team. Signature brings very strong complementary assets for diagnosing disorders that are often undetected by traditional genetic tests,” said Robert Friel, chairman and chief executive officer of PerkinElmer.