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Invitrogen broadens its biotech branches

By Kirsty Barnes , 07-Dec-2005

Invitrogen has created three new business divisions in a move to strengthen its position in the growing biotechnology industry and drive growth through improving links between its product development cycle and customer base.

The new structure, which will take effect as of 1 January 2006, involves the addition of the Life Sciences, Bio-Production Systems and Services, and Enabling Technologies divisions, each of which have dedicated manufacturing, research and development, and marketing functions.

Both the Enabling Technologies and Life Sciences divisions will fall under the company's existing BioDiscovery business segment and Bio-Production Systems and Services will fall under its BioProduction segment.

"This realignment allows us to focus our development and commercial efforts along key technology workflows in order to help researchers shape the protocols of tomorrow's medical breakthroughs," said Gregory Lucier, chairman and CEO of >Invitrogen.

California-based Invitrogen, which provides life science technologies for disease research, drug discovery, and commercial bioproduction, has grown greatly in recent years through the acquisition of a number of other biotech companies.

Biotechnology refers to techniques that are used to genetically modify living organisms to produce marketable products.

In the US in 2003, the biotech industry was worth $40 billion (€34 billion) and with the growing number of biotech firms with drugs in clinical trials, and with the plan of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce the time it takes to get a new drug approved for the market, there is extensive room for this industry to grow.

California - the birthplace of the US biotech industry - houses a significant share of the industry. Nearly 40 percent of all public biotech companies in the nation are in California, and the state is also home to more than 40 per cent of all employment in the sector.

Close to half of all venture capital spent in the industry goes to California firms, and nearly half of all research and development spending in the sector occurs in California.

Invitrogen's new Life Sciences division will focus on molecular biology and biomedical applications including cloning and protein expression, protein analysis, gene expression profiling and drug discovery solutions.

Bio-Production Systems and Services will include the current Gibco and BioReliance products and services, as well as the company's bioproduction process development initiative.

Finally, Enabling Technologies will focus on nanotechnology, imaging and microscopy, cell separation and analysis, labeling and detection, bead based separations, and the company's antibody center of excellence.

The new divisions will also be integrated with new technology sales specialist teams (TSS) that provide deep scientific expertise in targeted areas of research. These teams will be able to draw upon solutions from across Invitrogen's product portfolio to address complex applications and workflows.

"By creating a unified commercial unit that includes highly technical specialist teams we offer a total solution for obtaining the products, services and support our customers need," said the company.

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