This article has been updated from a previous version to include comments from Invitrogen.
The subsidiary, called Biological Defense Systems, will be headquartered on Invitrogen's Frederick, Md., campus. BDS will build on Invitrogen's current product portfolio to develop detection kits for airborne, food-borne, and water-borne pathogens. Invitrogen said the spin-off would also work on vaccines and "other prophylactic measures" related to biodefense
The company has appointed James Meegan, a 13-year veteran of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease at NIH, to lead R&D at BDS as senior director of biodefense. James Gilmore, Invitrogen's current biodefense business segment director, will lead the commercial activities of the subsidiary.
Gilmore told GenomeWeb News that the subsidiary will be structured financially in a similar manner to that of Invitrogen's other subsidiaries, such as BioReliance. He declined to provide specifics about staffing plans for BDS, but said that "a dedicated sales staff and research group" are already in place in the 25,000-square-foot
Gilmore said that BDS will focus on three primary areas: the research market, from which it will draw from its experience in pathogen research; vaccine and therapeutics development, which will be based on technology from the company's BioReliance, PanVera, and Gibco acquisitions; and PCR-based pathogen detection systems.
The subsidiary will allow Invitrogen to "capture various government contracts a little easier," Gilmore said.