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Embarking in New Direction, Invitrogen to Develop Consumable Instruments; Quantum Dot Assets Could Play Role

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 11 (GenomeWeb News) -Invitrogen plans to develop instruments, acknowledging for the first time that it intends to expand beyond its consumables and services offerings, a company official said yesterday.


Speaking at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference, held here this week, Chairman and CEO Greg Lucier said the instruments would be based on the "unique abilities" of the firm's reagents. Specifically, he cited the technology the firm gained through its acquisition of Quantum Dot as a possible base for the development.


According to Lucier, the goal is to develop hardware that would be considered "consumable" and could be disposed of after a short period of use. This would disqualify capital equipment such as mass spec and liquid chromatography.


Lucier did not disclose what kind of instruments or the applications they would target. He also did not provide a timeline on when the firm expects to market such instrumentation.


Invitrogen has long eschewed the equipment market in favor of the more predictable sales that accompany reagents and other consumables. It has focused primarily on building its molecular diagnostics and protein offerings through several acquisitions over the past two years.


During a breakout session following the firm's presentation, Lucier also stressed that Invitrogen's plans for the molecular diagnostics market is focused on some "high-margin areas," and the firm has no plans to become a clinical diagnostics company. He said that if Invitrogen wanted to buy a clinical diagnostics business it has the resources to do it, but it has no plans to take the company in that direction.

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