July 2011 Clinical Laboratory News: Industry Profiles

Quest Completes Acquisition of Celera

Quest Diagnostics has successfully completed acquisition of Celera Corporation for approximately $671 million. According to Quest, the deal was completed through a short-form merger, after its tender offer expired. Quest announced plans to purchase Celera in March in an effort to strengthen its molecular diagnostics portfolio.

Danaher Extends Offer for Beckman Coulter

Danaher has extended for a third time its cash tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Beckman Coulter, Inc. for $83.50 per share in cash. All other terms and conditions of the offer remain unchanged. Danaher continues to anticipate completing the acquisition in 2011. The deal is valued at approximately $6.8 billion. 

Myriad Genetics Licenses Cancer Diagnostic Technology from Chronix

Myriad Genetics has licensed the rights to technology for early detection of cancer from Chronix Biomedical. Under the terms of the deal, Myriad has the rights to commercialize tests derived from the technology for the early detection of breast, colon, and prostate cancers in North America, South America, and Europe. Myriad Genetics will pay upfront fees, milestone payments, and royalty payments in exchange for access to Chronix Biomedical’s technology.

“The technology we have licensed from Chronix Biomedical has the potential to revolutionize the early detection of cancer through the analysis of unique DNA sequences in blood samples,” said Mark Capone, president of Myriad Genetics.

Metabolon Moves into the Diagnostics Business

Metabolon will expand its offerings by moving into the diagnostics market. The metabolomics firm anticipates the launch of its first test for insulin resistance, called Quantose. The company will focus its attention on developing metabolomics-based diagnostics. Two tests for prostate cancer are also planned, as well as tests for determining the aggressiveness of cancers and for assessing tolerance to chemotherapies, directed at bladder and kidney cancers. 

Roche and Clovis Collaborate on Companion Dx for EGFR Mutations

Roche and Clovis Oncology have partnered to develop an in vitro PCR-based companion diagnostic test. The assay for CO-1686, a compound currently in pre-clinical development for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, will run on Roche’s Cobas 4800 system and is intended for the identification of mutations, including the EGFR T790M mutation, in patients with NSCLC. “Our agreement with Clovis Oncology strengthens our position as the partner of choice for the development of companion diagnostics. Roche hopes that through this collaboration we will be able to advance oncology diagnostic testing and drug therapy for the benefit of many patients worldwide,” said Paul Brown, head of Roche Molecular Diagnostics. 

Thermo Fisher Signs Deal to Expand Specialty Dx Portfolio

Thermo Fisher Scientific has inked a definitive deal to acquire Phadia, an allergy and autoimmunity diagnostics firm. The deal is designed to significantly expand Thermo Fisher’s specialty diagnostics portfolio. Currently, Thermo Fisher’s diagnostics business focuses on tissue-based cancer diagnostics, microbiology technologies for detecting pathogens in food and infectious diseases, and specialty assays, such as drugs-of-abuse testing and its biomarker business. “Phadia is a strong fit strategically with our existing specialty diagnostic platform, significantly increasing our penetration of a high-growth market,” said Thermo Fisher president and CEO, Marc Casper.

Nestle Health Science Acquires Prometheus Laboratories

Nestle Health Science has finalized an agreement to buy Prometheus Laboratories for an undisclosed amount. The deal is aimed at moving the company into the gastrointestinal diagnostics sector. Nestle Health Science is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestle and is focused on developing science-based nutritional solutions for personalized medicine. Joseph Limber, president and CEO of Prometheus, said that as a result of the acquisition, his company will “accelerate the development of our innovative diagnostics platforms for gastroenterology and oncology and potentially into additional important therapeutic areas.”

LabCorp Purchases Clearstone Central Laboratories

Laboratory Corporation of America has signed a definitive deal to buy central laboratory service provider Clearstone Central Laboratories in an effort to bolster the company’s companion diagnostics business. According to LabCorp, the deal will provide it with a global network of central laboratories and access to Clearstone’s clinical trials management system, Apollo CLPM, which offers real-time access to global data. The deal is expected to close this summer.

Myriad Genetics Finalizes Rules-Based Medicine Purchase

Myriad Genetics has completed its purchase of Rules-Based Medicine for $80 million. According to Myriad, Rules-Based Medicine will continue its collaborations with pharmaceutical partners in companion diagnostics discovery. The deal is expected to further develop Myriad’s companion diagnostics franchise. In addition, the acquisition will help expand the company’s product portfolio into new disease areas including psychiatric disorders, infectious diseases, and inflammatory conditions. 

Siemens Signs Agreements to Strengthen Microbiology Portfolio

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics has signed a strategic partnership with Copan and a co-marketing agreement with Bruker Corporation in an effort to strengthen the analytical workflow and molecular identification functionality of its microbiology portfolio. The new agreements grant laboratories access to enhanced analytical workflow efficiency and advanced mass spectrometric identification, designed to support their microbiology testing needs. 

NeoGenomics Laboratories Inks Distribution Deal with Signal Genetics

NeoGenomics Laboratories has signed a deal to distribute Signal Genetics’s new gene expression profile test for multiple myeloma to pathologists and hospital-based hematologists and oncologists nationwide. Under the terms of the deal, Signal Genetics’s Myeloma Prognostic Risk Signature test (MyPRS) will be performed at its CLIA-certified laboratory in Little Rock, Ark. The MyPRS test analyzes a defined number of relevant genes to determine the gene expression profile associated with a patient’s condition, giving physicians a predictive view of the patient’s progress and enabling personalized treatment decisions. NeoGenomics has also obtained the right of first negotiation to market any genomic and transcriptomic-based diagnostic test developed and/or launched by Signal Genetics in the future.

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