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

Industry Profiles

Qiagen Inks Deal to Develop Companion Dx Test with Lilly

Qiagen has forged a deal with Eli Lilly to develop, manufacture, and commercialize a molecular companion diagnostic for an early-stage investigational compound being developed by Lilly. “The collaboration with Lilly is a strong testament to Qiagen’s capabilities in companion diagnostics, biomarkers, and personalized healthcare,” said Stephen Little, vice president of personalized healthcare at Qiagen. Lilly’s proprietary compound, called a JAK2 inhibitor, targets the Janus kinase 2 produced by the JAK2 gene that is associated with myeloproliferative neoplasms, a variety of blood cancers that cause abnormal growth in blood cells. The deal calls for Qiagen to develop a new companion diagnostic test that will provide both qualitative and quantitative results for JAK2 V617F. Qiagen’s assay for JAK2 V617F mutation is designed to identify patients more likely to respond to Lilly’s JAK2 inhibitor and to monitor response to therapy. 

Beckman Coulter, Indiana U. Partner on Environmental Genomics Research

Beckman Coulter, Inc. and Indiana University’s Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics (CGB) have partnered to develop solutions for genomics applications designed to better identify toxins that put the environment and human health at risk. The deal calls for CGB biologists to work with Beckman Coulter’s application specialists and engineers to design, validate, and implement protocols targeting the high-throughput genomics market. The collaborators hope to advance technologies and applications for environmental genomics research.

BD and Lab21 Collaborating on Aspergillus Assay

BD Diagnostics and Lab21 have forged a partnership to develop a molecular diagnostic test to detect Aspergillus fungus using the BD MAX Molecular Testing System. The deal is designed to further expand BD’s molecular diagnostic testing portfolio. “This agreement with Lab21 is designed to add an innovative molecular test to the BD MAX System’s growing test menu that will empower clinicians and laboratory professionals with rapid, accurate information on which to base important treatment decisions,” said Tom Polen, president of BD Diagnostics.

BioMarker Strategies Wins NCI Companion Dx Development Grant

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded BioMarker Strategies a $200,000 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract to develop a pathway-based companion diagnostic test for drug inhibitors targeting the ErbB signal transduction network. According to the cancer diagnostics firm, the money from the SBIR award will be used to expand its predictive test development program for use in its automated SnapPath live tumor cell testing system. “This additional funding will help us to expand our predictive test development pipeline, which includes companion diagnostics for drugs targeting the ErbB signaling network that includes a large number of the targeted cancer drugs under development today,” said Douglas Clark, acting CEO of BioMarker Strategies.

Bio-Rad Buys QuantaLife

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. purchased digital polymerase chain reaction (PCR) systems maker QuantaLife for $162 million. Bio-Rad hopes to build on QuantaLife’s innovative digital PCR technology that provides quantification of target molecules with unprecedented precision and sensitivity. “We are impressed with QuantaLife's digital PCR technology and believe it will complement Bio-Rad's existing amplification business,” said Norman Schwartz, CEO and president of Bio-Rad.

Sony Purchases Micronics, Inc.

Sony has acquired diagnostic device firm Micronics, Inc. The purchase is intended to speed up Sony’s own research and development projects and accelerate the commercialization of point-of-care diagnostics devices. Micronics’s headquarters will remain in Redmond, Wash., where it will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.