Bio-Rad buys QuantaLife and its digital PCR technology

The high-resolution platform can be used in the validation of next-generation sequencing discoveries

Life science research products provider, Bio-Rad Laboratories, has purchased the privately-held life sciences company QuantaLife for $162 m (€121m) in cash plus potential future milestone payments. Based in Pleasanton, California, QuantaLife, has developed an innovative digital Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) system that provides quantification of target molecules with unprecedented precision and sensitivity.

This next generation PCR technology builds on the established method of amplifying DNA that is used in research labs around the world. Digital PCR provides researchers with a new tool for the detection of rare mutations including distinguishing rare sequences in tumours, 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.’

QuantaLife has commercialised the Droplet Digital (ddPCR) system, described as the most accurate genetic analysis platform available today. The system is the first cost-effective, high-resolution platform available for the validation of next-generation sequencing discoveries.

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