) subsidiary, entered into an agreement with
Merck & Co. Inc.
) to develop technologies in the field of companion diagnostics
for cancer-fighting drugs. Financial terms of the deal have not
Agilent acquired the Danish cancer diagnostics company, Dako,
for $2.2 billion (on a debt-free basis) in 2012. Dako supplies
antibodies, scientific instruments and software mainly to
cancer-related diagnostic labs. It also collaborates with drug
companies for developing methods to identify patients who are
likely to benefit from certain therapies.
Currently, the healthcare sector is witnessing a revolution
and companion diagnostics or personalized medicine is taking the
center stage. It has been found that not all treatments are
suitable for patients suffering from a specific disease as some
require tests that are more specialized in nature.
Dako's expertise in the development of methods to identify
patients likely to benefit from certain therapies will help Merck
select patients who may benefit from its ongoing research in
companion diagnostics; thus improving the diagnostic process.
There could be far-reaching effects on the entire healthcare
system, as personalized medicine has a long way to go in
improving patient care and reducing medical bills.
According to the Global Industry Analysts, the global market
for companion diagnostics may reach $280.2 million by 2017,
driven by the enhancement of a drug's clinical usage, thus
reducing the overall cost and risk involved in drug development
Agilent's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings per share of 81 cents
beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5 cents, or 6.1%, driven by
good expense control and stronger mix. However, revenues of $1.72
billion missed our expectations due to unfavorable currency
Currently, Agilent Technologies has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other companies, such as
), with a Zacks Ranks #2 (Buy), are also worth considering.
AGILENT TECH (A): Free Stock Analysis Report
AMETEK INC (AME): Free Stock Analysis Report
DAKTRONICS INC (DAKT): Free Stock Analysis
MERCK & CO INC (MRK): Free Stock Analysis
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