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Life Technologies Acquires Cancer Bioinformatics Firm Compendia

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies today announced it has acquired cancer bioinformatics firm Compendia for an undisclosed amount.

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Compendia develops products used by drug manufacturers for identifying novel gene targets in drug discovery and development, and according to Life Tech, its expertise in oncology and proprietary assets "enhance Life's diagnostic development capabilities across multiple platforms, including next-generation sequencing, qPCR, and proteome analysis."

The deal is expected to aid Life Tech's efforts to develop its own laboratory-developed and commercial tests, and to enhance the Carlsbad, Calif.-based company's companion diagnostics development work, while positioning it to be a partner of choice for pharma, Life Tech said.

The transaction is anticipated to be neutral to Life Tech's 2012 earnings and to be accretive to overall return on invested capital by 2015, Life Tech said.

Compendia has one of the world's largest and most comprehensive sets of mutation profiles, gene expression data, and cellular biomarkers culled from more than 62,000 cancer patients. Its cloud-based analytics tool called Oncomine integrates high-throughput cancer profiling data across a large volume of cancer types, allowing researcher to use it to correlate genetic signatures, clinical status, and drug response biomarkers.

Life Tech plans to develop a clinical version of Oncomine that will allow physicians to compare the genetic signatures of their patients against large data sets to determine the most effective drug protocols.

"A seamless transfer of the bioinformatics data into easy-to-use, actionable information will be possible with the treating physician portal repurposed from the Navigenics acquisition," Life Tech said.

Another product called OncoScore is a tool for optimizing clinical trials process. It stratifies patients based on genetic signatures, thereby including those who are most likely to respond to specific drugs.

"Compendia has become an integral part of the pharmaceutical industry's cancer drug discovery programs, and in joining Life Technologies, we'll gain the opportunity to expand the utility of Compendia even further," Daniel Rhodes, Compendia's CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. He will join Life Tech after the acquisition.

Life Tech also said that it will incorporate Compendia's oncology workflow within its Ion Reporter software, thereby "building the most robust bioinformatics offering in the industry."

The acquisition is Life Tech's most recent step in building up its medical sciences business, following the purchases of Navigenics and Pinpoint Genomics, as well as most recently deals with CollabRx and Ingenuity Systems.

Compendia's existing business will continue under its current leadership. In addition to Rhodes joining Life Tech, Co-founder Arul Chinnaiyan will be a strategic advisor to Life Tech and help shape its movement into personalized medicine.

Life Tech noted the recent launch of the Pervenio Lung RS prognostic test for lung cancer and said today that it will use Compendia's exclusive content to "springboard to other areas of oncology."

"We have created the optimal foundation to drive progress in personalized medicine," Life Tech Chairman and CEO Greg Lucier said. "By combining the acquisitions of Pinpoint Genomics, Navigenics, and Compendia, we now possess the full spectrum capability to develop and commercialize high-value cancer diagnostics where there is currently great unmet need."

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