CLN Article

Industry Profiles

Qiagen Purchases Point-of-Care Test Maker AmniSure

Qiagen acquired AmniSure International, a privately held point-of-care diagnostics firm, for an undisclosed amount. AmniSure sells an assay for determining whether a pregnant woman is suffering rupture of fetal membranes. "We are very pleased to bring the AmniSure assay into our emerging portfolio of solutions for point-of-need diagnostics. This very accurate diagnostic test contributes significant value in the management of pregnancy," said Peer Schatz, CEO of Qiagen.

Proteome Sciences Forges Stroke Biomarker Licensing Agreement with Randox

Proteome Sciences inked a non-exclusive license with Randox Laboratories to use its stroke protein biomarker portfolio. Randox will use the markers in products for early diagnosis of stroke and subsequent patient monitoring. "The discovery and validation of a panel of early stroke biomarkers in blood opens the way for rapid detection and selection of treatment that will have profound benefits for patients, their families, and careers," said Jean-Charles Sanchez, director of the University of Geneva Biomedical Proteomics Research Group, with which Proteome Sciences has an ongoing collaboration in the area of stroke.

Pressure Bio and Target Discovery Expand Deal for Clinical Dx Testing

Pressure BioSciences and Target Discovery expanded a technology license and supply agreement. Under the expansion, Target Discovery will use Pressure BioScience's Pressure Cycling Technology (PCT) platform to enter the clinical diagnostics testing market. The planned diagnostic services will focus on critical unmet needs in treatment selection guidance for ovarian cancer. "We believe that the PCT platform, in combination with Target Discovery's proprietary reagents, provides reliable access to this important class of protein biomarkers for life sciences research and development," said Jeffrey Peterson, CEO of Target Discovery.

MDxHealth and Plus Diagnostics Co-promote Prostate Cancer Test

MDxHealth and Plus Diagnostics finalized a co-promotional deal covering MDxHealth's epigenetic test for prostate cancer in the U.S. The agreement calls for Plus Diagnostics to build awareness for MDx Health’s ConfirmMDx test through its national network of urologists. The test detects an epigenetic field effect or halo associated with the cancerization process at the DNA level in cells adjacent to cancer foci. "The national reach afforded by Plus Diagnostics provides a direct channel to the urology community and will aid in meeting the growing demand for our test," said Jan Groen, CEO of MDxHealth.

Werfen Cuts Ties with Beckman Coulter

Werfen Group, the parent company of Instrumentation Laboratory, decided to end its partnership with Beckman Coulter after two decades of successful collaboration for laboratory customers. “Beckman Coulter would have preferred to continue this agreement; while we’re disappointed by Werfen’s decision, we remain committed to providing excellent support for our hemostasis customers during the remainder of the partnership,” said Tom Joyce, president of Beckman Coulter Diagnostics. The partnership remains in effect until June 22, 2012, when the current contract expires.

Ventana Licenses IP from Gen-Probe for ERG Protein Measurement

Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. co-exclusively sub-licensed certain patents and patent applications from Gen-Probe for the worldwide in vitro diagnostic rights for measuring ERG protein expression through immunohistochemistry in prostate tissue. The license complements the existing Ventana worldwide co-exclusive sublicense under certain patents and patent applications for in situ hybridization rights for measuring ERG gene rearrangements, including in tissue. “We believe ERG testing by IHC and ISH will play an important role in novel diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive tests for prostate cancer,” said Mara G. Aspinall, president of Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.

Fluidigm and Novartis End Alliance Aimed at Non-invasive Fetal Diagnostic Test

Fluidigm ended its partnership with Novartis to develop a non-invasive fetal diagnostic test. The firms were collaborating to develop a microfluidic system with an initial focus on developing non-invasive prenatal diagnostics for fetal aneuploidies. "With the termination of this agreement, highly valuable intellectual property rights in non-invasive prenatal diagnostics and digital PCR, which had been exclusively optioned under the agreement, now revert back to Fluidigm," said Gajus Worthington, president and CEO of Fluidigm. Under the terms of the deal, forged in May 2010 and amended last year, Fluidigm granted Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics an exclusive option to its digital polymerase chain reaction technology in specific areas of prenatal healthcare and diagnostics. The deal prohibited Fluidigm from selling its products or services in those fields except for some cases of research applications.

Ariosa and LabCorp Forge Deal to Make T21 Test Available in U.S.

Ariosa Diagnostics inked a deal with Laboratory Corporation of America and Integrated Genetics to make its T21 test available in the U.S. The Harmony Prenatal test will be offered through LabCorp and its more than 1,000 patient service centers. The test uses a maternal blood draw and detects common fetal trisomies, such as Trisomy 21. "With enhanced test performance and simplicity, the Harmony Prenatal Test can be reliably incorporated into the management of pregnancies," said Ken Song, CEO of Ariosa.

Agilent Acquiring Dako

Agilent Technologies finalized a deal to purchase cancer diagnostics firm Dako for $2.2 billion. The deal is designed to expand Agilent's presence in the diagnostics market. "In the rapidly growing diagnostics market, Dako's products and capabilities are a strategic complement to Agilent’s existing offerings," said Bill Sullivan, Agilent president and CEO. "Dako is one of the world's leading providers of cancer diagnostics tools, and together we will be able to develop a wider range of products that help in the fight against cancer."

Beckman Coulter Receives CLIA Certification, Licensure for Clinical Sequencing

Beckman Coulter obtained CLIA certification and Massachusetts state licensure, allowing its genomics operations to begin accepting clinical samples for genetic sequencing. As a result, Beckman Coulter Genomics will be able to provide sequencing results to doctors for the treatment, diagnosis, and prevention of disease in patients. "This certification allows Beckman Coulter to work more closely with physicians to bring the promise of high-quality molecular diagnostics to benefit greater numbers of patients," said Joseph Repp, vice president and general manager of Beckman Coulter Genomics. "We're actively working to bring additional assays to physicians and clinical researchers across the country, as well as help all our customers further their understanding of genetic involvement in disease states."