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Life Tech Inks Companion Dx Alliance with Merck Serono

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies today said that it has inked a companion diagnostics deal with pharmaceutical firm Merck Serono for an undisclosed oncology target and eventually other therapeutic areas.

Under the non-exclusive agreement, Life Tech will employ a wide range of its technology platforms, including next-generation sequencing, Sanger sequencing, qPCR, and flow cytometry. Life Tech said that it the alliance is successful, the firms would sign another agreement, under which the firm would commercialize the companion diagnostics in agreed-upon territories.

The partners also would work to simultaneously seek regulatory approval of Merck's drug and Life Technologies' companion diagnostic.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Life Technologies' combination of platforms and capabilities are unique in the companion diagnostics space, particularly in oncology," Ronnie Andrews, president of genetic & medical sciences at Life Tech, said in a statement. "With our recent acquisition of Compendia Bioscience, we possess bioinformatics solutions and cancer biomarker expertise to collaborate with pharma on each phase of the drug development process, from biomarker hypothesis to assay development concurrently with drugs to approved diagnostic tests."

The deal with Merck Serono , which is a division of Germany's Merck KGaA, follows a companion diagnostic deal Life Tech reached with Bristol-Myers Squibb last September.