American Association for Clinical Chemistry
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April 2011 Clinical Laboratory News: Industry Profiles

Industry Profiles

Danaher’s Proposed Acquisition of Beckman Coulter Cleared by FTC

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of the review period for Danaher’s proposed $6.8 billion acquisition of Beckman Coulter. The firms had announced the deal in early February, and at the time said they expected to complete the transaction in the first half of this year.

Thermo Fisher Sells Athena Dx and Lancaster Laboratories

Thermo Fisher Scientific has reached deals to sell its Athena Diagnostics and Lancaster Laboratories businesses for a total of $940 million. “Athena and Lancaster have performed very well within our company and we believe that these strategic buyers will offer them even greater opportunities for growth in the long term,” said Marc Casper, Thermo Fisher president and CEO. The firm said it will sell Athena, which specializes in diagnostic tests for neurological conditions, to Quest Diagnostics for $740 million. In a separate deal, Belgium-based Eurofins Scientific will buy Lancaster Laboratories for $200 million.

Luminex and Partners HealthCare Team Up on Biomarker, Assay Development

Luminex and Partners HealthCare have entered into a collaborative agreement for the discovery of biomarkers and development of clinical assays. The collaboration will enable Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine to develop molecular diagnostic assays based on biomarkers discovered within the integrated health system. The tests will operate on Luminex’s xMAP platform. “The collaboration with Luminex represents an important step forward in furthering Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine’s mission to bridge the gap between research and clinical medicine,” said Dr. Heidi Rehm, director of the Center’s Laboratory for Molecular Medicine.

Invivoscribe, Novartis Collaborate on Companion Dx for AML

Invivoscribe announced plans to partner with Novartis to develop and commercialize a companion diagnostic test for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. The test will be designed to indentify FLT3-positive AML patients who would be candidates for a Novartis drug currently in clinical trials, midostaurin (PKC412). Based on the results of current Phase III clinical trials, the companies plan to seek regulatory approval and eventually make the test available worldwide for patients newly diagnosed with FLT3-mutated AML.

Chronix and Hemispherx Join Forces on Chronic Fatigue MDx

Chronix Biomedical has filed a provisional U.S. patent application jointly with Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. for a chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) blood test. The Chronix experimental approach analyzes fragments of DNA often released into the bloodstream during the process of apoptosis or programmed cell death. Chronix’s technology can identify the presence of disease-damaged cells in blood samples without the need for a biopsy. The companies have studies planned to validate the technology as a potential diagnostic test for CFS.

Avantra and MedTrust Collaborate On MDx to Improve Cancer Care

Avantra Biosciences and MedTrust Online have teamed in an effort to involve clinicians in early-stage development of molecular diagnostic tests that will run on Avantra’s QPDx multiplex system. According to both firms, the deal is designed to supply more than 10,000 physicians with protein biomarkers implicated in a variety of cancers. “This partnership will provide cancer doctors with powerful biomarker assays that can be validated with clinical insights about their utility at the point of care,” said MedTrust CEO, Christopher Yoo. Avantra plans to develop tests for ovarian, pancreatic, lung, prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers.