Inside Applera: Celera Genomics Becomes Applied Bio's Diagnostics Angel
Applera Corp.'s new $75 million high-throughput genotyping initiative to be equally funded by its three businesses, Celera Genomics Group, Applied Biosystems Group, and Celera Diagnostics (a joint venture of Celera Genomics and Applied Bio) has provided a context for the company to begin to reveal its diagnostics strategy. New information about the structure of the joint venture also sheds more light on the acceleration of Celera Genomics' business strategy as it moves toward a collaborator-oriented drug discovery company model.
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Instrument makers have made big money off the genomics revolution. But as the research market slows, companies are looking for new business opportunities. One area ripe for development: the molecular diagnostics market.
With a scarcity of well-trained chemists and exponentially increasing numbers of genomics-generated targets contributing to an already bulging lead identification/optimization bottleneck, medicinal chemistry capabilities are at a premium. Nonetheless, when it comes to market valuations, biology companies still come out on top. And Celera's recent acquisition of Axys, along with Lexicon Genetics purchase of Coelacanth help prove the point.
Less than four months after securing a broad license from Roche Molecular Systems to use PCR for clinical diagnostics, PE Corp. has hired Roche Molecular's CEO, Kathy Ordonez. PE has tasked her to build a new division within PE that will draw on technology resident in PE's Applied Biosystems Group and Celera Genomics Group, to develop, seek approval for, and market reagent and software-based standardized molecular diagnostic tests that will run on ABI's instruments.