Luminex re-ups assay deal with Merck KGaA

Luminex ($LMNX) has inked a long-term agreement with Merck KGaA's life sciences business, tasking the German company with providing assays for Luminex's research technology.

EMD Millipore, a division of Merck KGaA, will supply and distribute multiplex kits for Luminex's xMAP systems, detecting protein biomarkers in fields like cancer, cell signaling, cellular metabolism and immunology, the company said. Neither outfit disclosed financial terms of the deal, but the long-term commitment follows an existing relationship between the two.

"This renewal of our partnership with Luminex ensures that EMD Millipore can provide customers with a complete solution for multiplexed protein detection--encompassing assay kits, instruments, software and services--that will support them over the years," John Sweeney, head of life sciences business at EMD Millipore, said in a statement.

Over the past few years, EMD Millipore has renewed its focus on assay development, recently launching Milliplex kits for human stem cell pluripotency and cellular metabolism, all of which work on Luminex's analysis platform. The new contract puts EMD Millipore alongside Life Technologies ($LIFE), PerkinElmer and Myriad Genetics ($MYGN) among Luminex's assay-development partners.

For Luminex, the extension locks down a supplier for its growing research-based test business, and the company has spent the past year notching victories for its clinical diagnostics arm. It won FDA clearance last month for a gastrointestinal assay and, in March, signed a companion diagnostics deal with Merck ($MRK) covering the company's in-development Alzheimer's treatment.

- read Luminex's statement