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Applera Earmarks $75M for Discovery, Diagnostics

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Relying on the branding power of its subsidiaries, Applera announced a $75 million corporation-wide push to increase its business. The company says Applied Biosystems, Celera Diagnostics, and Celera Genomics will pony up equal finances to reach the target over the next 12 to 15 months. The goal of the initiative is primarily to commercialize therapeutic and diagnostic products based on Celera’s genomic and SNP data and on disease-related data to be generated this year.

Tony White, CEO of Applera, expects ABI to see the first revenue from this plan from higher sales of reagents and SNP assays, based on new data that Celera Genomics will generate this year. To do this, Celera will sequence 40 to 50 more human genomes to identify additional SNPs and haplotypes more specifically associated with disease than its current SNP data. ABI president Michael Hunkapiller says, “With only a slight lag there will be a concurrent development of reagent assay sets while the sequencing is going on [at Celera].”

Meanwhile, the announcement was something of a coming-out party for Celera Diagnostics, formed last November and about to build its genotyping facilities in Alameda, Calif. Under the leadership of former Roche Molecular Systems CEO Kathy Ordoñez, the 100-person company is seeking partnerships with academic medical institutions, clinical sample providers, or possibly another major diagnostic company.

— John S. MacNeil

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