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Agilent Technologies Acquires Cancer Diagnostics Company, Dako In Largest Acquisition To Date

The biggest acquisition in the company's history, Agilent Technologies Inc.,  [A:NYSE] acquired Danish cancer diagnostics company, Dako in a $2.2 billion deal.

Agilent Technologies is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, diagnostics, electronics and communications. The company's 20,000 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $6.6 billion in fiscal year 2011.

The acquisition, completed last week, comes on the heels of Dako's approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to market the HercepTest™ and the HER2 FISH pharmDx™ Kit as companion diagnostics for pertuzumab (Perjeta™)  ̶ a new Genentech cancer drug. The approval was the result of the collaboration between Genentech and Dako on a parallel US FDA approval process of Genentech’s cancer drug and Dako’s pharmDx™ assays. Agilent expects the acquisition to help strengthen their position in life sciences, with a focus on product development to help in the fight against cancer.

"Agilent and Dako have some of the best talent and technology in the world," said Lars Holmkvist, Dako CEO. "By combining resources, we believe that both of our companies will benefit, as will our customers and employees. I have great confidence in what we will be able to accomplish together."

Dako is one of the leading global suppliers of cancer diagnostics tools, providing antibodies, reagents, scientific instruments and software to customers in pathology laboratories. Where it converges with therapeutics, diagnostics is seeing the beginning of a new era. Exciting advances are being made in the development of biomarkers for clinical use beyond the research setting. Regulatory bodies including the FDA are increasingly receptive to trial designs incorporating companion diagnostics. Next-gen sequencing takes the industry to new heights of the enabling technologies, which fuel the growth of personalized medicine. Yet complex and unpredictable regulatory and IP policies present practical challenges for the industry, and investment has been anemic. OneMedForum New York 2012 will offer a diagnostics panel session on the afternoon of July 12th to discuss the rapid technological advances in diagnostics and personalized medicine, and the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. The panel will explore investment strategies and relevant business models for this space, and alternative financing options for new growth companies. The panel will be moderated by  Qin Shi, PhD, JD, Managing Principal of  EdgeTech Law. Speakers include, Bob Easton, Founder of  Scisive and Les Funtleyder, Portfolio Manager and Health Care Strategist at Miller Tabak. "When it comes to genetic  analysis, as our ability to sequence genetic material gets faster and cheaper, diagnostic potential will grow exponentially. We’re not there yet but that we’re getting there," said Funtleyder. For more information on the panel, please visit www.onemedforum.com.

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