U-M startup Compendia Bioscience acquired by Life Technologies

Date: 
10/08/2012 - 3:00pm

Written by Greta Guest; email: gguest@umich.edu.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Compendia Bioscience, founded in 2006 by a University of Michigan medical school professor and one of his grad students, was acquired Monday by Life Technologies Corp.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The private Ann Arbor-based company with 34 employees markets an oncology database that pharmaceutical companies use to develop new drugs and identify patients who might benefit from the therapies.

The database, Oncomine, was developed by U-M Medical School professor Arul Chinnaiyan, a pioneer in the field of cancer research, and his student Daniel Rhodes, Compendia's chief executive officer. The database has become a standard in oncology research and drug development, serving the top cancer drug companies in the world.

Life Technologies, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based global biotechnology company with $3.7 billion in annual revenues, plans to develop a clinical version of Oncomine to allow physicians to compare their patients' information against large data sets to determine the most effective drug protocols.

"It was always a vision of the company to use our research business serving the pharmaceutical industry to also form a more clinical business," Rhodes said. "We are joining forces with a partner who shares the same vision."

Chinnaiyan said, "The longer term vision with this new partner is that it will impact the lives of cancer patients with personalized medicine, personalized oncology."

Rhodes, who will join Life Technologies, said the company would remain in Ann Arbor. Chinnaiyan will serve as strategic adviser to Life Technologies.

"Compendia Bioscience has been building value for its drug development and clinical partners for the last six years," said Ken Nisbet, executive director of U-M Tech Transfer. "Now this acquisition will provide it the resources to accelerate that value and contribute even more to our regional economy."

Compendia got its start with the assistance of U-M Tech Transfer and an exclusive license to the Oncomine database in 2006. Compendia also received funding assistance from Ann Arbor Spark, the Michigan Department of Economic Development and private investors.

Compendia is the most recent in a string of recent acquisitions of U-M startups, including Arbor Networks, Accuri, HandyLab and HealthMedia.

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