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Life Technologies Plans Early-Access Program for New Sequencer

SAN FRANCISCO (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies officials said today at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference that the company expects to launch an early-access program in late 2010 for its single-molecule sequencing system.

The technology underlying that system came from Life Tech's 2008 acquisition of Visigen for $20 million. The real-time, single-molecule, sequencing-by-synthesis technology would represent the firm's third-generation sequencing technology, beyond its long-standing capillary electrophoresis franchise and its SOLiD next-generation instrument.

Life Technologies Chairman and CEO Greg Lucier told investors at the conference held here that the firm plans to present more information on the single-molecule sequencer, as well as make "a major announcement" regarding updates to SOLiD at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology meeting in February.

The firm expects its sequencing technologies to migrate into clinical diagnostic applications in the future, with a particular focus on the cancer market. As part of that plan, Lucier said that the firm would seek 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration next year for its recently launched CE 3500 Series Genetic Analyzer, a low-to-medium throughput CE instrument.

Lucier also said during his presentation that the firm is 12 months ahead of schedule in completing the integration of Invitrogen and Applied Biosystems, which merged to form Life Technologies last year. He said that the integration will be completed by the end of 2010, with the company realizing $175 million in cost and revenue synergies.

Lucier also noted that the firm will report approximately 10 percent organic revenue growth for the fourth quarter. He said that Life Tech received around $8 million to $10 million in stimulus-related revenues during the quarter, though it expects to benefit most from those programs throughout 2010.