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Life Technologies acquires Compendia Bioscience
CARLSBAD, Calif.—Life Technologies Corp. has acquired Compendia Bioscience, a cancer bioinformatics company widely used by the pharmaceutical industry to identify novel gene targets for drug discovery and development.
Compendia's oncology expertise and proprietary assets enhance Life Technologies' diagnostic development capabilities across multiple platforms, including next-generation sequencing, qPCR and proteome analysis, according to Life Technologies' announcement, and represent another significant step in Life's strategy to develop its medical sciences business through internal development, partnerships and select acquisitions.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to be neutral to 2012 earnings and accretive to the company's overall return on invested capital by 2015 and completes the foundation of Life Technologies' oncology strategy, the company states.
Compendia's existing business, which will continue under the leadership of its current management team, adds an established base of pharmaceutical industry customers for Life Technologies' platforms. Compendia's oncology data is widely utilized by leading pharmaceutical companies in their drug development work and will extend Life Technologies' abilities to both develop its own tests and to partner with pharmaceutical companies in companion diagnostic development.
Life Technologies will incorporate the Compendia oncology workflow within its Ion Reporter software with the goal of building the most robust bioinformatics offering in the industry. Researchers sequencing tumor samples on the Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM), for example, will be able to leverage the insight gained from the thousands of samples already in Compendia's database in an effort to identify targetable mutations.
"Users of our Ion Torrent semiconductor sequencing platform will be able to compare the results delivered through Ion Reporter software for their own tumor samples directly against thousands of curated and catalogued tumor samples stored within Compendia's database. Compendia's powerful analytical engine will be fully integrated with Ion Reporter to identify in real time and in a very user-friendly way which mutations are likely drivers versus passenger mutations, whether these point to actionable targets and if there is clinical or experimental evidence for response to these targets," says Ronnie Andrews, president of medical sciences at Life Technologies.
Compendia's sets of mutation profiles, gene expression data and cellular biomarkers have been gathered from more than 62,000 cancer patients. Oncomine, the company's cloud-based analytics tool, integrates high-throughput cancer profiling data across a large volume of cancer types to allow users to mine it for correlations among genetic signatures, clinical status and drug response markers. The company's pharmaceutical customer base uses the proprietary technology to ascertain the genes most frequently mutated across thousands of samples of a given cancer type, as well as the biomarkers associated with biological responses to specific classes of compounds. Life Technologies plans to develop a clinical version of Oncomine, which will allow physicians to compare their patients' genetic signatures against large data sets to determine the most effective drug protocols. A seamless transfer of the bioinformatics data into easy-to-use, actionable information will be possible with the treating physician portal repurposed from the Navigenics acquisition. Compendia's OncoScore product is a tool that helps optimize the clinical trials process by stratifying patients based on genetic signatures so that individuals most likely to respond to specific drugs are included.
"We have created the optimal foundation to drive progress in personalized medicine," says Gregory T. Lucier, chairman and CEO of Life Technologies. "By combining the acquisitions of Pinpoint Genomics, Navigenics and Compendia, we now possess the full-spectrum capability to develop and commercialize high-value cancer diagnostics where there is currently great unmet need."
"Compendia has become an integral part of the pharmaceutical industry's cancer drug discovery programs, and in joining Life Technologies, we'll gain the opportunity to expand the utility of Compendia even further," says Daniel R. Rhodes, Compendia's CEO and co-founder, who will join Life Technologies when the acquisition is finalized.
Compendia Co-Founder Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan will serve as strategic advisor to Life Technologies, helping to shape the company's further steps into personalized medicine.
Life Tech, VelaDx to develop IVD tests
CARLSBAD, Calif.—Life Technologies Corp. and VelaDx have entered into a license and supply agreement that will give VelaDx rights to develop and market next-generation sequencing-based, in-vitro diagnostic tests on the Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM) platform. VelaDx will seek approvals from global regulatory authorities for clinical diagnostic tests in oncology and infectious disease.
According to a news release announcing the agreement, VelaDx chose the Ion PGM System because of its speed, simplicity and flexibility, and because it is complementary to Vela Dx's Sentosa workflow and menu of qPCR assay kits. Both Ion's PGM and VelaDx's Sentosa systems can operate on a menu of single-indication tests or multiple- indication panels that can easily be implemented in virtually any laboratory, according to the companies. In addition, a seamless, bidirectional data communication with laboratory information systems between the Ion PGM™ and Sentosa systems will maintain the accuracy of data and improve the efficiency of the laboratory workflow.
"Our agreement with Life Technologies puts Vela Diagnostics at the cutting-edge position in medicine," said VelaDx CEO Michael Tillmann. "The Ion PGM System will support VelaDx's strategy to improve laboratory efficiency and bring new innovative tests to our customers to help improve treatment decisions for patients."