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Agilent buys Her2 test firm

In the biggest deal in its history, scientific testing equipment maker Agilent Technologies acquired diagnostics firm Dako for $2.2 billion. The all-cash deal signals Santa Clara, California–based Agilent's intention to strengthen its presence in the life sciences industry. Dako, headquartered in Glostrup, Denmark, is a leading supplier of cancer diagnostic antibodies and kits to pathology laboratories. The Danish firm markets HercepTest, a HER2 companion diagnostic kit for Roche's breast cancer drug Herceptin (trastuzumab), and in June received US Food and Drug Administration approval for HER2 FISH pharmDX, as companion diagnostic for the recently approved Perjeta (pertuzumab) (Nat. Biotechnol. 30, 570, 2012). Agilent also has a large portfolio of molecular diagnostics technologies. “Agilent's acquisition of Dako highlights the continued convergence of research tools companies and diagnostic companies,” says analyst Peter Lawson, of New York's Mizuho Securities. Other notable tools-diagnostics acquisitions over the last five years have been Qiagen acquiring Digene, Danaher acquiring Beckman Coulter, Roche acquiring Ventana Medical and Thermo acquiring Phadia. “We expect this trend to continue,” says Lawson. Agilent also gains access to Dako's vast experience dealing with regulators, and taking a product through to approval. The deal is a merger of complementary strengths, doubling Agilent's reagents business and accelerating its penetration into the life science and diagnostic markets.


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Aldridge, S. Agilent buys Her2 test firm. Nat Biotechnol 30, 730 (2012).

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