GE Healthcare, announced that it has acquired SeqWright, Inc., a provider of nucleic acid sequencing and other genomic services. The acquisition adds complementary genomics capabilities to Clarient, a unit of GE Healthcare and a leader in the fast-growing molecular diagnostics sector. The deal also provides a platform for Clarient to expand its clinical diagnostic offerings to include next generation sequencing. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
“Understanding how genetic variation at the molecular level impacts disease is critical in the continued discovery and development of new and more effective therapies, and increasingly in the management of patient care through the use of more precise diagnostic tests,” said Pascale Witz, President and CEO, GE Healthcare, Medical Diagnostics. “Combining the expertise and capabilities of the two companies will enable GE Healthcare to offer a substantially wider range of services to the biopharmaceutical, diagnostic and research industries and eventually to patients and health care providers.”
Molecular diagnostics provide precise information about a patient’s disease and can help doctors decide on the best treatment. The rapid increase in the incidence of cancer worldwide, together with advances in specific cancer-focused therapies, is driving significant demand for molecular diagnostics.
“As a CLIA-certified service provider, we are in a position to capitalize on the growing role next- and third -generation DNA sequencing technologies will play in clinical diagnostics,” said Fei Lu, President and CEO of SeqWright. “This partnership will put us in a position to apply the power of new direct detection technologies to clinical and companion diagnostics, potentially revolutionizing the way healthcare decisions are made.”
As biopharma companies continue to develop large portfolios of increasingly targeted therapies, the need for fast, accurate and cost effective sequencing technologies and services to determine the genetic profile of patient samples becomes vital to clinical trials and the development of companion diagnostics. SeqWright has an extensive history of projects that focus on clinical trial and regulatory support for companion diagnostic submissions. The complementary capabilities of Clarient & SeqWright will allow the combined business to add immediate incremental value to existing pharmaceutical and biotechnology partnerships throughout their drug development and companion diagnostic development efforts.
“Sequencing, including next-generation DNA sequencing, is an important technology for GE’s medical diagnostics business,” said Carrie Eglinton-Manner, CEO, Clarient. “The acquisition of a specialized laboratory with long-standing expertise in the sequencing field as well as an established customer base allows us immediate entry into this high-growth space, and is an ideal complement to Clarient’s existing protein and gene expression profiling in support of pharmaceutical and in vitro diagnostic studies.”
Clarient provides pathologists and oncologists with access to diagnostic tests that shed light on the complex nature of various cancers by combining innovative diagnostic technologies with pathology expertise to assess and characterize cancer. Clarient is focused on developing novel, proprietary diagnostic markers and tests for the profiling of breast, lung, colon, melanoma and blood-based cancers, to help clinicians make informed decisions on how best to treat their patients. Given the increasing importance of more targeted cancer diagnostics, Clarient is well positioned to bring differentiated, added-value molecular diagnostic products and services to market. Since 2007, Clarient’s revenues have grown at an approximate 30 percent compounded annual growth rate.