From Merger of Invitrogen and Applied Biosystems, Life Technologies Plans to Grow From San Diego Base

1/22/09Follow @xconomy

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is the ability to access a deep biotech talent pool, and the ability to recruit more talented workers to the sun and beaches of Southern California, Stevenson says.

In the job postings that Biocom tracks for its members, Life Technologies is one of the few that still regularly has multiple open positions, says Tim Ingersoll, a spokesman for Biocom, the regional life sciences trade association. Greg Lucier, the chairman and CEO of Life Technologies, has strong community ties, having served a two-year stint as Biocom’s chairman.

“We’re ecstatic they’ve chosen to keep the headquarters in Southern California,” Ingersoll says. “They are one of the companies going down the path toward bedside genome sequencing, and that’s going to lower the cost of health care.”

Life Technologies also is one of the companies, along with San Diego-based Illumina, pushing the edges of sequencing technology to make it possible to sequence an entire human genome much more cheaply, possibly for as little as $1,000. If this can be done—and it still hasn’t been proven—it could usher in a new era in which people get a drug regimen that’s tailored to respond to their genetic profile rather than the current one-size-fits-all model of medicine. “We were in the business of really changing the way medicine happens, and it would impact life,” Stevenson says, explaining how they came up with the new name.

It’s heady stuff, this life business, but the big corporate name apparently allows people there to retain a sense of humor. “One of the jokes within the company is how there’s no need for a work/LIFE balance anymore,” Stevenson says.

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