BD, Lab21 team up for cancer diagnostics

Becton Dickinson ($BDX) has stepped up its diagnostics offerings of late, and now the company has recruited the personalized medicine pros at Lab21 to develop oncology assays.

Neither firm disclosed financial particulars, but the deal tasks Lab21 with creating PCR-based cancer tests for the BD Max diagnostics platform, and BD will get the job of manufacturing and commercializing the results. The first two targets will be the KRAS and BRAF genes, mutations which have been linked to the development of lung, colorectal and other cancers.

The two last worked together to develop diagnostics for a fungal infection, and Lab21 CEO Graham Mullis said BD is the ideal partner for forging ahead into molecular tests for cancer. This is the second recent cancer partnering for Lab21, which announced in June that it was teaming with an unnamed Big Pharma company to develop companion diagnostics for a pipeline colorectal cancer treatment.

BD has launched a bevy of assays for its diagnostics platforms over the past year, but the company was dealt a blow earlier this month when a federal judge ruled that it violated four patents held by Hologic ($HOLX) with tests for BD Viper and BD Max platforms. That case will go before a jury in December to suss out whether BD's infringement was willful and determine how much the company should pay in damages.

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