Life Technologies has been around for many years and I have in the past covered their Ion Torrent technology with their small sequencing machine.  From what I am reading here though, Quest will be working with the technology to develop new tests but you may or may not see an Ion Torrent machineimage sitting at their retail facilities, or maybe at least not right away.  Life Technologies was bought by Thermo Fisher for over $13 billion and I believe some of that is still shuffling out. 

When the desktop Ion Torrent Machine was announced it made a lot of news as it kind of resembles a printer if you will except it’s a more than that but that was the marketing basis here with size and convenience.  Its probably worth revisiting the “bus” Ion tour video so you get an idea of what’s going on here and the portability of the Ion Torrent, so again with Quest working with the platform, they are going to be producing tests that work with the Ion so who knows when DNA testing machines might start showing up in retail labs.   Genes on wheels I guess you could call the bus as it’s purpose was to tour and acquaint all with the Ion Torrent.  Here’s another archived post on the machine and it’s technology. 

Life Technologies Debuts Ion Torrent Machine-Cheap Genes at $500 for Single Sequence

Not long after the Ion Torrent, Illumina created their sequencing machine and Quest also has a similar agreement with them to use their technology as well so here come the desktop sequencing machines and platforms making way into Quests labs and it is a natural type of progression if you kind of follow where lab testing is going with innovations.  Heck who knows, maybe we’ll have a Quest bus out there one day too with mobile sequencing <grin>.  Quest does have a bus they used similar to the campaign for the Ion to promote their electronic medical records program, Care 360 a couple years ago so who knows, maybe the next tour will add on some sequencing machines too as they play in the EHR business as well.  It kind of puts them in a unique position with having the lab data as they also integrate with other major medical record systems too. 

Ion Bus

The lab business is getting very competitive too as we have another new company, Theranos with their technologies just starting up with “cheap” labs, they cost less than what Medicare charges and they are just getting started with establishing themselves in Walgreens stores…$2 to $10 for all kinds of tests.  BD 

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX) announced a multi-year deal with Life Technologies Corporation (NASD:LIFE). Per the deal, Quest Diagnostics can use Life Technologies’ Ion Torrent, a next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform for the development of molecular tests.

Quest Diagnostics had signed a similar agreement with Illumina Incimage. (NASD:ILMN), whereby it will be allowed to use the latter’s MiSeq sequencing and genotyping technology platform and related reagents for molecular laboratory-developed tests.

These deals are consistent with Quest Diagnostic’s aim of becoming a global leader in diagnostic and healthcare services.

In a bid to enhance its diagnostics services, Quest Diagnostics acquired ConVerge Diagnostic Services and the lab-related operations of Dignity Health and UMass Memorial Medical Center in 2013. Quest Diagnostics also introduced the Opioid Therapy Genetic Test which was aimed towards providing effective pain relief.


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