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Agilent Inks Sequence-Enrichment Deal with Life Tech; Says Varian Acquisition is on Track

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Agilent Technologies has signed a co-marketing agreement with Life Technologies related to targeted resequencing, an Agilent official said today.

Speaking at the UBS Global Life Sciences Conference, Nick Roelofs, president of Agilent's Life Sciences Group, said that the company has signed an agreement with Life Technologies to co-market Agilent's SureSelect Target Enrichment System with the Applied Biosystems SOLiD sequencing system.

The agreement follows a similar deal that Agilent signed with Illumina in April.

Roelofs disclosed the agreement as part of a general update on Agilent's life science business. He noted that the company's proposed $1.5 billion acquisition of Varian is on track to be completed by the end of the year, despite a recent request from the US Federal Trade Commission for additional information on the deal.

He said that Agilent's life science business currently generates around $1 billion in revenues per year. The company previously said that Varian's revenues are also in the range of $1 billion.

Roelofs added that Agilent is taking a "pretty conservative view of what we might gain" from stimulus spending under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Some life science tool vendors have been optimistic that the stimulus grants will provide a significant boost in revenues. Life Technologies, for example, recently estimated that it will see around $100 million in stimulus-related revenues over the next 24 months.

Agilent is not likely to see the same level of impact from the ARRA funds as some other players, Roelofs said, because the company is relatively "underpenetrated in academia" compared to its competitors, and the bulk of NIH stimulus funds will be awarded to academic labs.

Nevertheless, Roelofs noted that other countries, including Korea, Singapore, and India, are launching their own stimulus programs. He said that the company should see some positive impact from these initiatives over the next six quarters but did not provide any specific growth projections.

— Edward Winnick contributed reporting for this article from the UBS Global Life Sciences Conference.

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