Life Technologies has joined with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to advance food safety testing of E.coli and Salmonella.
As part of the agreement Life Technologies will design and validate food safety tests for the detection and identification of foodborne pathogens, with pathogen strains provided by the FDA.
The firm will also design and validate a complete workflow for food pathogen detection on the Ion PGM platform, while optimizing sample preparation methods.
FDA will have the opportunity to evaluate disruptive technology platforms by Life Technologies for the use in pathogen detection.
Develop PCR assays
Life Technologies will use its bioinformatics resources to develop real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) assays against E. coli and Salmonella targets in collaboration with the agency and then provide the test results for these targets to the FDA for further validation.
The FDA will use Life Technologies' Ion PGM Sequencer to generate whole genome sequence information from defined bacteria, and for strains that will be excluded from detection.
Life Technologies' bioinformatics team will then analyze the genomic information and provide assays or tests to the FDA for further validation and analysis.
Whole genome sequences generated under the collaboration will be added to the National Institutes of Health Genbank so they can be accessed by the food safety research community.
The FDA will also validate and test the firm’s next-generation sequencing technologies for Salmonella investigations as part of its effort to develop rapid detection tools to improve public health response to future outbreaks.
Nir Nimrodi, vice president and general manager for Food Safety and Animal Health at Life Technologies, said: "The FDA will call on us, particularly when it comes to developing rapid detection kits. This agreement allows them to have new rapid track and trace products for rapid identification of foodborne contaminants."
Life Tech results
The firm also reported its Q2 2013 results for the period ending 30 June.
Revenue was $944m, a decrease of 1% over the $950m reported for the second quarter of 2012.
Excluding the impact of currency, revenue growth for the quarter was 1% compared to the same period of the prior year.
Gregory T. Lucier, chairman and chief executive officer of Life Technologies said:"We are actively working with Thermo Fisher to consummate our previously announced transaction.
“We recently filed our definitive proxy and will be hosting our special meeting of stockholders on August 21, 2013. Both companies remain excited about creating the unrivaled leader in life sciences that will continue to accelerate innovation and better meet the needs of our customers."