Abbott Acquires Prostate Cancer Biomarkers for MDx Test

Abbott obtained an exclusive license from Stanford University for several novel prostate cancer biomarkers that it intends to use in developing molecular diagnostics tests that will differentiate aggressive from nonaggressive prostate cancer. The molecular assay will be based on Abbott's fluorescence in situ hybridization technology and will be designed to detect rearrangements of the ERG and ETV1 genes, as well as loss of the PTEN gene.

Roche Will Not Extend Offer for Illumina

After months of negotiations, Roche decided not to extend its tender offer for Illumina, ending its hostile bid for the Swiss pharmaceuticals and diagnostics firm. "We continue to hold Illumina and its management in very high regard, but with access only to public information about Illumina's business and prospects, we do not believe that a price above Roche's offer for Illumina of $51.00 per share would be in the interest of Roche's shareholders," said Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche. In January, Roche commenced a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Illumina for $44.50 per share in cash and increased its offer in March to $51.00 per share in cash.

GenMark Diagnostics and Advanced Liquid Logic Ink IVD Deal

GenMark Diagnostics, Inc., and Advanced Liquid Logic, Inc., (ALL) forged a collaborative deal to develop an all-electronic, fully integrated in-vitro diagnostic platform combining ALL's proprietary electrowetting technology and GenMark's proprietary electrochemical detection. According to GenMark President and CEO Hany Massarany, the collaboration will focus on multiplex molecular testing, followed by efforts in other diagnostic areas including protein detection and point-of-care testing.

Roche Licenses PCR Technologies to Life Technologies

Roche and Life Technologies Corporation signed two licensing deals allowing Life Tech access to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technologies. Under the terms of the deal, Roche is granting Life Tech an in vitro diagnostic product license to all of its PCR patents for real-time PCR and other PCR-related technology in the diagnostic field. "Roche has a broad, active out-licensing program for its PCR-based intellectual property portfolio. By continuing to out-license this technology, we contribute to the development of well-validated techniques within the diagnostics field," said Paul Brown, head of Roche Molecular Diagnostics.

Hologic to Acquire Gen-Probe

Hologic announced that it is purchasing Gen-Probe for approximately $3.7 billion, creating what company officials are calling the largest diagnostics company concentrated on women's health. The purchase allows Hologic to combine Gen-Probe's automated Tigris and Panther platforms and associated menu of sexually transmitted disease tests, including the Aptima chlamydia/gonorrhea, human papillomavirus, and Trichomonas products, with its own menu of women's health testing platforms. "This transaction combines best-in-class technology with strong market presence and global distribution to target the rapidly growing molecular diagnostics market," said Rob Cascella, president and CEO of Hologic. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2012. The deal comes a year after Gen-Probe hired Morgan Stanley to seek a buyer for the firm. Though reports suggested that several companies were interested, none of them went through with a deal to acquire Gen-Probe.

Rapid Pathogen Screening Awarded Contract to Develop Dx Test

U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Chemical and Biological Defense Division awarded Rapid Pathogen Screening, Inc. a contract to develop and manufacture a rapid, point-of-care diagnostic test to help in diagnosis in the event of biological attacks or pandemic events. According to the company, an emerging developer of point-of-care diagnostic tests, the test is innovative in its ability to accurately confirm and differentiate a viral infection from a bacterial infection using a finger stick of blood.