Life Technologies: Top Innovative Company in Biomedicine

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Life Technologies is one of 10 biomedicine companies included in Technology Review’s 50 Most Innovative Companies (TR50) for 2012 [1].

Life Technologies

What is a TR50 company? It is a business whose innovations force other businesses to change their strategic course. TR50 companies are nominated by Technology Review’s editors who look for companies that, over the last year, have demonstrated original and valuable technology, are bringing that technology to market at a significant scale, and are clearly influencing their competitors.

With a presence in 160 countries, Life Technologies is a global biotechnology company that offers instruments, consumables, and services for scientific researchers around the world. Life Technologies’ customers conduct research across the biological spectrum, working to advance personalized medicine, regenerative science, molecular diagnostics, agricultural and environmental research, and 21st-century forensics. The company’s sales exceed $3 billion and possesses a rapidly growing intellectual property estate of approximately 3,900 patents and exclusive licenses.

A subsidiary of Dexter Corporation, Life Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1983 by the merger of Bethesda Research Laboratories, Inc. and GIBCO (Grand Island Biological Company) Corporation. The name was phased out in 2000 when Dexter Corporation and its subsidiaries were was bought by Invitrogen Corporation. Eight years later, Life Technologies Corporation was formed when Invitrogen merged with Applied Biosystems. The new company elected to resurrect the Life Technologies name as it still held the trademark.

Life Technologies brands include:

Life Technologies was chosen to be a TR50 company because they are lowering the cost of DNA sequencing, which opens the door to more genetically targeted treatments and diagnostics. A key innovation of the company is its Ion Proton sequencer for genome sequencing. The benchtop sequencer can sequence a human genome in one day at a cost of just $1,000 per genome.

Life Technologies recently announced that it will accelerate development of its Ion Torrent Semiconductor technology for a broad set of proteomic and antibody-based applications [2]. The company is currently partnering with The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, and Boston Children’s Hospital to develop sequencing workflows and protocols for the Ion Proton System tailored to applications of interest for researchers at each institution [3-4].

Also of note is a recent partnership between Life Technologies and another 2012 biomedicine TR50 company, Cellular Dynamics International. The two companies are working to commercialize a set of three new products optimized to consistently develop and grow human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for both research and bioproduction.

Interested in other Top Innovative Companies in Biomedicine? Check them all out with the tag Top Innovative Companies in Healthcare.


  1. The 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2012. Technology Review. Accessed 2012 Apr 10.
  2. Life Technologies to Accelerate Development of Ion Torrent Semiconductor Technology for Proteomic Applications in Research, Applied and Clinical Markets. Life Technologies. 2012 Jul 11.
  3. The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto Adopts Life Technologies’ Ion Proton Sequencer to Launch New Centre for Genetic Medicine. Life Technologies. 2012 Jun 19.
  4. Life Technologies to Collaborate with Boston Children’s Hospital to Develop an Optimized Lab Workflow based on the Ion Proton Sequencer. Life Technologies. 2012 Jun 20.
  5. Life Technologies and Cellular Dynamics International Partner for Global Commercialization of Novel Stem Cell Technologies. Life Technologies.  2012 Jun 12.
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