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Luminex and Merck KGaA Extend Ties

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Diagnostic testing technologies company, Luminex Corporation ( LMNX) has renewed its agreement with Germany—based leading life science and protein research company, Merck KGaA. Under the long term global supply and distribution agreement, EMD Millipore, the Life Science division under Merck KGaA, will continue distributing Luminex's full range of xMAP systems, inclusive of MAGPIX, Luminex 100/200 and FLEXMAP 3D.


EMD Millipore develops protein biomarkers that have multiple applications in research areas such as cancer, cell signaling, cellular metabolism and immunology. Luminex will use EMD Millipore's life science and protein assays to develop its own platform. Additionally, its platform—based multiplexed immunoassays now have access to EMD Millipore's latest data analysis tool, the Milliplex Analyst 5.1 software.


Of late, the loss of Luminex's assay distributors has been affecting the bottom line. The partnership will help Luminex to offer world class instruments to its customers and improve results as well. 


Luminex possesses an extensive product portfolio and a healthy pipeline of novel assays, which are expected to support growth going ahead. Luminex has sold nearly 10,000 instruments worldwide and boasts 16,000 publications on various applications. Moreover, Luminex is developing innovative platforms by combining resources from its latest acquisitions. The company’s initiative to establish a direct sales force for its molecular diagnostics customers will likely improve operating efficiency.


However, Luminex operates in a highly competitive life sciences industry. Sluggish growth in its core markets as well as the ongoing global austerity measures remain challenges for the company. 


The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Medical instrument companies, such as Natus Medical ( BABY), Cyberonix ( CYBX) and Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG) warrant a look. While Natus is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, the other two carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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