Life Tech looks to expand cancer, DNA testing presence

Life Technologies is launching its ParaDNA test for forensic labs.--Courtesy of Life Technologies

Life Technologies ($LIFE) has been busy ratcheting up its testing market share amid rumors it will be bought out, this week launching DNA analysis products that target cancer gene mutations and forensic study.

The company is now marketing research-only applications for the AmpliSeq gene sequencer, allowing scientists to track mutations in the cancer-tied BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes as well as colon and lung tissues.

Separately, the company signed a distribution agreement with LGC Forensics to market ParaDNA, Life's portable rapid DNA system it says beats out standard law enforcement testing methods.

Life touts its new AmpliSeq test panels as slashing the turnaround time and cost of sequencing important genes, allowing researchers to home in closer on cancer than before possible. Coupled with ParaDNA, which Life says is faster and more effective than any existing DNA analysis platform, Life is committing to expanding its presence in as many testing markets as possible.

All that comes as M&A rumors abound for the sequencing giant, most recently involving Roche ($RHHBY), Thermo Fisher ($TMO) and a whole host of private equity magnates.

While bids for the company are said to fall somewhere between $13 billion and $15 billion, analysts have said suitors might frown on Life's average 5% sales growth over the past three years. But, between this week's launches and last week's move to up its molecular diagnostics production, Life might be able string together some strong sales quarters and up its asking price.

- read the AmpliSeq announcement
- get more on ParaDNA

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