Life Technologies reels in Bristol-Myers Squibb as companion Dx partner

California's Life Technologies ($LIFE) is the latest diagnostics player to catch the eye of Big Pharma. The Carlsbad company will partner with Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) to develop a number of new companion diagnostics.

Neither side is disclosing financial terms behind this deal, but Life Technologies notes in the partnership announcement that this is the second time both companies have worked together. For this new arrangement, they'll initially focus on a companion diagnostic for cancer and then develop diagnostic tests for a number of different drug treatments.

As personalized medicine continues to evolve and advance, drug companies are turning-ever increasingly to diagnostics company partners. After all, a drug that works with a certain genetic subset of cancer or another disease can be even more effectively marketed along with a diagnostic that reliably identifies the subset of patients for whom a drug will benefit most.

Life Technologies operates in a number of sectors. With 10,400 employees, the company develops products focused on everything from agricultural biotechnology to forensics, food safety and animal health. But it also considers molecular medicine/diagnostics a vital part of its business plan. In anticipation, perhaps, of its BMS deal and others to come, the company snatched up cancer diagnostics company Navigenics in July. At the time, the company disclosed the purchase was a step toward expanding its molecular diagnostics business and pursuing companion diagnostics deals. With the BMS announcement, Life Technologies makes clear that companion diagnostics are part of its future.

"For oncology alone, hundreds of agents are currently in clinical trials," Ronnie Andrews, Life Technologies' medical sciences president said in a statement. "And we see strong market opportunity in the robust expansion this will mean for the companion diagnostics space."

- read the release

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