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Life Tech To Collaborate With Merck Serono For Diagnostics Development

Life Technologies Corp. (LIFE: Quote) announced that it has signed an agreement to collaborate with Merck Serono, a division of German drugmaker Merck KGaA (MKGAY.PK), for current and future companion diagnostics projects. The current agreement constitutes the first collaboration between the two companies and represents another step in Life Technologies' strategy to develop its diagnostic business through internal development, collaborations and select acquisitions.

The non-exclusive agreement covers an initial project for oncology and provides for a long-term collaboration across a potentially broad range of Life instrument platforms and a wide range of therapeutic areas. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

According to the Life Technologies, the collaboration will seek to combine the biomarkers identified by Merck's translational research with Life Technologies' proprietary platform technologies and to develop companion diagnostics concurrently with Merck's drug development programs. The collaboration will also work to simultaneously seek regulatory approval of Merck's drug and Life Technologies' companion diagnostic.

Life Technologies said it offers a variety of platform technologies that support the development of new diagnostics. These technologies span both genetic and proteomic analysis, including next-generation sequencing, Sanger sequencing, qPCR and flow cytometry, some of which have already received clearance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If successful, the agreement will be followed by a commercialization agreement under which Life Technologies will commercialize the companion diagnostic in agreed upon territories.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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