Bio-Rad Laboratories, a manufacturer and distributor of life science research and clinical diagnostics products, announced this week that it has acquired QuantaLife, a microfluidic technology startup, for $162 million in cash plus potential future milestone payments. QuantaLife raised $17.2 million in venture capital financing in December 2010.
QuantaLife has developed a digital PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) system that provides quantification of target molecules with a reportedly unprecedented precision and sensitivity. This next generation PCR technology builds on the well established method of amplifying DNA that is used in research laboratories around the world. Digital PCR provides researchers with a new tool for the detection of rare mutations including distinguishing rare sequences in tumors, precise measurement of copy number variation, and absolute quantification of gene expression.
"We are impressed with QuantaLife's digital PCR technology and believe it will complement Bio-Rad's existing amplification business," said Norman Schwartz, Bio-Rad President and CEO. "This elegant solution expands the current state of the art methods of quantitative PCR (qPCR), and we look forward to its adoption in life science research."
Based in Pleasanton, California, QuantaLife is a privately-held life sciences company that has develoepd advanced genetic analysis systems for research. QuantaLife has commercialized its "droplet digital" (ddPCR) system, which the company says is the most accurate genetic analysis platform available today. According to teh company, the system is the first cost-effective, high-resolution platform available for the validation of next-generation sequencing discoveries. With the ddPCR system, researchers can explore complex genetic landscapes in high-definition, discover new disease associations, and define a new category of improved molecular diagnostic tests.
Bio-Rad has remained at the center of scientific discovery for more than 50 years, manufacturing and distributing a broad range of products for the life science research and clinical diagnostic markets. The company's client base includes hospitals, universities, major research institutions, as well as biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Founded in 1952, Bio-Rad is headquartered in Hercules, California, and serves more than 100,000 research and industry customers worldwide through its global network of operations. The company employs over 6,800 people globally and had revenues exceeding $1.9 billion in 2010.