Given the recent flurry of activities, it seems that Life Technologies Corporation (LIFE) is focused on strengthening its foothold in the field of stem cell research. The company recently signed a non-exclusive agreement with iPS Academia of Japan for its induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell patent portfolio. Based on this agreement, the company will be able to expand its portfolio for the iPS cell research community.
Besides, it is well placed to create iPS cells and differentiate them into various cell types to be used in drug discovery and pre-clinical research. The license also enables Life Technologies to provide creation, differentiation and screening services of iPS cell to scientists globally. We consider the agreement to be a significant achievement for the company in the field of stem cell research as iPS cells are gaining attention for use in the areas of drug discovery, disease research and other areas of biotechnology.
The agreement with iPS Academia of Japan comes on the heels of the partnership with Cellular Dynamics International, the world's largest producer of human cells derived from iPS cells. The partnership will aim at commercializing a set of three new products optimized to consistently develop and grow human iPS cells for both research and bioproduction.
These initiatives undertaken by Life Technologies should strengthen its Research Consumables segment. This segment includes molecular and cell biology reagents, endpoint PCR and other benchtop instruments and consumables. These products include RNAi, DNA synthesis, sample prep, transfection, cloning and protein expression profiling and protein analysis, cell culture media used in research, stem cells and related tools, cellular imaging products, antibodies and cell therapy related products. In the most recent quarter, this division recorded a 4% year-over-year increase in revenues to $420 million on the back of growth in cell culture workflow products, endpoint PCR products and molecular and cell biology consumables.
Life Technologies enjoys a strong position in the life sciences market, though management prefers to maintain a cautious but optimistic outlook for the remainder of the year. We are encouraged by the improvement in margins amidst the tight competitive scenario with the presence of players such as Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO), Illumina (ILMN), among others.
We have a Neutral recommendation on Life Technologies. The stock retains a Zacks #3 Rank (hold) in the short term.
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