Life Technologies Corporation today announced the acquisition of Navigenics, Inc. This acquisition represents Life Technologies' first step in executing against a strategy to build out its molecular diagnostics business through internal development, partnerships and select acquisitions.
"Genetic analysis is becoming increasingly accessible, cost-effective and a critical part of patient clinical management," said David Agus, M.D. co-founder of Navigenics, professor of Medicine and Engineering at the University of Southern California, and author of The End of Illness. "As a result, physicians have more complete and accurate information about the patient than ever before, which is translating into more effective, individualized care programs for patients."
"The advent of personalized medicine will require a combination of technologies and informatics focused on delivering relevant information to the treating physician," said Ronnie Andrews, president of Medical Sciences at Life Technologies. "Navigenics has pioneered the synthesis and communication of complex genomic information, and we will now pivot the company's effort to date and focus on becoming a comprehensive provider of technology and informatics to pathologists and oncologists worldwide."
Navigenics' multidisciplinary expertise, including its technology infrastructure, user interfaces, online platforms, genomic support services, and an experienced team, will play a central role in the delivery of Life Technologies' molecular diagnostic model. The company's established CLIA-certified laboratory, licensed throughout the United States, will be employed for design and validation of new diagnostics assays. Life Technologies plans to develop and offer lab-developed tests as well as commercialized assays that have been approved by FDA and other regulatory authorities. Life will also continue to build partnerships with pharmaceutical companies for companion diagnostic development, including participating in clinical trials, which is enabled by the CLIA lab acquisition.
Navigenics' extensive clinical program provides Life Technologies with a leadership position in clinician and patient education and support, which will be leveraged by Life Technologies in building its diagnostics business. The platform includes a network of oncologists, pathologists, and genetic counselors, who will be available to support community-based physicians in the adoption of genetic medicine and assist them in understanding these innovative types of medical information.
"Since our founding in 2006, Navigenics has blazed a pioneering trail in bringing genomics to the everyday reality of physicians, patients, and health plans," said Vance Vanier, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Navigenics. "Life Technologies' entry into the clinical diagnostics market, coupled with the scope of their clinical vision, signals that personalized medicine is no longer a distant future promise, but today's reality. We are thrilled to be at the center of their powerful initiative, which will improve countless lives."
"Complex diseases like cancer require physicians to receive and interpret data from the genome, transcriptome and proteome. Life Technologies is the only company in the industry today with the breadth of technology to span the full continuum of diagnostic information necessary to effectively manage such diseases," said Gregory T. Lucier, chairman and chief executive officer of Life Technologies. "The Navigenics informatics platform allows us to now transform the data from our instrument systems into actionable information and deliver it in real time to physicians around the world."
As Life Technologies expands its molecular diagnostics business, its philosophical focus on clinically relevant, medically endorsed applications aligns with that of Navigenics. In compliance with existing policies and informed consent, all customer information will be protected and handled according to regulatory guidelines, in alignment with Navigenics' founding principle of protecting the privacy and security of its customers' genetic information. The Navigenics Health Compass set of genetic analysis services will honor existing commitments but not take in new business.
Life Technologies is also currently developing diagnostic tests across multiple platforms. In October 2011, Life Technologies announced a partnership to develop a companion diagnostic for GlaxoSmithKline's MAGE-A3 cancer immunotherapy. Life Technologies also has an assay development partnership with Gen-Probe, and recently announced collaborations with Boston Children's Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to develop the company's next generation sequencers for clinical research in pediatric diseases.