February 4, 2014 | Thermo Fisher Scientific announced yesterday that it has finally completed its acquisition of Life Technologies, following months of preparation and negotiations with both the FTC and European Commission to approve the purchase. Bio-IT World previously covered the steps Thermo Fisher has taken to clear a path to bringing Life Technologies on board, and what the acquisition may portend for the future of the Ion Torrent line of next-generation sequencers.
The purchase is closing at a time of uncertainty for Life Technologies, whose chief competitor in the genetic sequencing market, Illumina, recently unveiled a new benchtop sequencer, the NextSeq, aimed at the same market segment as Life's Ion Proton, as well as lowering the price of the MiSeq instrument to a level more competitive with the Ion PGM. If Thermo Fisher intends to pursue this commercial space aggressively, the company's huge financial resources may be a factor in the future development of genetic sequencing.
Thermo Fisher's intentions for its new acquisition are not yet clear, but the company has create a new Life Sciences Solutions segment that will include most of Life Technologies and be led by Life COO Mark Stevenson.