Life Technologies (NASDAQ: LIFE) has completed a multi-year license and supply agreement with Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services, that gives Quest rights to develop molecular tests on the Ion Torrent™ next-generation sequencing platform. Under the agreement, Quest may use the platform and related consumables to independently develop new tests for numerous areas of their business.
DNA sequencing is a process that determines the order of individual nucleotides of DNA molecules across a single gene, several genes or a full genome. Unlike older technologies, next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms can sequence multiple molecules simultaneously, providing greater information about the genetic basis of disease for lower cost. Ion Torrent™ technology combines speed and reliability with the ability to analyze large, multi-gene DNA or RNA panels from extremely small samples, such as those obtained from needle aspirates, circulating nucleic acids and circulating tumor cells.
"Next-generation sequencing is a highly advanced technology with great potential to improve clinical care, research and cost savings across several fields of medicine," said Jay Wohlgemuth, M.D., Senior Vice President, Science and Innovation, Quest Diagnostics. "Quest is actively developing NGS-based tests and working with top providers, such as Life Technologies, to expand our capabilities in this exciting new field. With this agreement, we can build on our successes in NGS to accelerate the future clinical benefit and positive impact of this technology for patients and providers across several disease areas, including cancer, neurology and women's health."
This new agreement extends the range of applications in which Quest may develop tests on the Ion Torrent technology to more than a dozen.
"The power of next-generation sequencing technology is transforming healthcare by giving physicians an opportunity to understand disease at the molecular level," said Ronnie Andrews, president, Genetic Analysis and Medical Science at Life Technologies. "Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer at bringing new technologies into the clinic through their centers of excellence and is the ideal partner to leverage the potential of Ion Torrent™ technology to improve human health."
The regulatory status of Ion Torrent products can be found on the Life Technologies website.
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