Life Technologies pairs up with Merck Serono in new collaboration

Companies to partner on the development of current and future companion diagnostics

Kelsey Kaustinen
CARLSBAD, Calif.—Life Technologies Corp. and Merck Serono, adivision of Merck KGaA, have announced the establishment of a collaboration forcurrent and future companion diagnostics projects. The arrangement representsthe first collaboration between Life Technologies and Merck Serono, and is anon-exclusive agreement that will initially cover a project for oncology whileproviding for a long-term collaboration across potentially several Lifeinstrument platforms and a variety of therapeutic areas. No financial detailsfor the agreement were released.
 
"Life Technologies' combination of platforms andcapabilities are unique in the companion diagnostics space, particularly inoncology," Ronnie Andrews, president of Genetic & Medical Sciences atLife Technologies, said in a press release. "With our recent acquisition ofCompendia Bioscience, we possess bioinformatics solutions and cancer biomarkerexpertise to collaborate with pharma on each phase of the drug developmentprocess, from biomarker hypothesis to assay development concurrently with drugsto approved diagnostic tests."
 
"By helping pharma target the right cancer patients inclinical trials, we believe that we have the potential to rapidly acceleratecancer drug development and this is good for everyone — for Life Technologiesand our pharma partners, and most importantly, for patients," Andrews added.
 
Life Technologies and Merck will work to combine biomarkersidentified through Merck's translational research with Life Technologies'proprietary platform technologies, and from there, develop companiondiagnostics alongside Merck's drug development programs. In addition, thepartners will also pursue regulatory approval of Merck's drug candidate andLife Technologies' companion diagnostic. Should this collaboration agreement besuccessful, a commercialization agreement will follow, in which LifeTechnologies will be responsible for commercializing the companion diagnosticin agreed-upon territories.
 
 
"Life Technologies is uniquely positioned to provide pharmaa flexible, cost effective means to manage the evolution of the of companiondiagnostic assays through the drug development process," Andrews commented in astatement about the deal.
 
 
The collaboration with Merck is the second agreement LifeTechnologies has announced in as many months. In mid-June, the companyannounced the signing of a licensing agreement with Suzhou Ribo Life Sciencesthat grants Ribo exclusive rights for the development and manufacture of siRNAtherapeutics in China using Life Technologies' Invivofectamine Rx deliverytechnology. In combination with Invivofectamine Rx, Ribo will developproprietary siRNA molecules to create a new platform that can address diseasesof high unmet need within the Chinese healthcare system. Life Technologies willbe entitled to receive milestone and royalty payments on any InvivofectamineRx-based therapeutics that result.
 
 
 
SOURCE: Life Technologies press release

Kelsey Kaustinen

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