Bio-Rad Joins Food Safety Consortium with IBM and Mars, Incorporated
The Consortium Uses Metagenomics to Unlock Food Safety Insights Across the Supply Chain
Hercules, CA — January 12, 2016 — Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global provider of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced that it has joined the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain established in 2015 by scientists from IBM Research (NYSE: IBM) and Mars, Incorporated. The consortium is combining advanced genomics with new informatics tools to observe microbial communities in food and detect hazards in the food supply chain that can threaten safety.
Bio-Rad will contribute leading-edge expertise in chromogenic and molecular tests for food pathogens and food quality indicators to the consortium. Scientists in the consortium are investigating the genetic fingerprints of living organisms such as bacteria, fungi, or viruses and to gain a better understanding of how they grow in different environments and in raw materials. The data will help detect hazards that signal safety concerns earlier in the food supply chain to diminish the risk of contamination.
“We are pleased to join the consortium and look forward to gaining insights and developing new products and solutions that will protect the food supply,” said Norman Schwartz, Bio-Rad President and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe the combination of advanced genomics along with informatics will provide us with a greater understanding of microbiomes within the food supply chain and help advance the science behind food safety.”
“We look forward to integrating Bio-Rad’s leading technology into our efforts to map the genetic makeup of the food supply chain — from soil to table,” said Jeff Welser, Vice President and Lab Director, IBM Research — Almaden. “By sequencing the DNA and RNA of simple food samples and their environments, we’re creating the tools necessary to establish the ‘gold standard’ for food and help health officials understand what triggers contamination and the spread of disease.”
“We are delighted to welcome Bio-Rad to the consortium and incredibly excited to be working with them and IBM Research to drive forward global innovation in genomics, food, and agriculture,” said Harold Schmitz, Chief Science Officer for Mars, Incorporated. “The Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain has the potential to revolutionize food safety and help us identify and address new threats on a much bigger scale than has ever been possible. Bio-Rad will bring a new dimension to the consortium effort with their suite of advanced testing techniques and equipment. This type of uncommon collaboration will drive even greater capacity, insight, and capability in food safety science and help us achieve critical breakthroughs.”
About the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain
In January 2015, IBM Research and Mars, Incorporated officially launched the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain. This collaborative food safety platform will leverage advances in genomics to further our understanding of what makes food safe. To help improve understanding of food safety, the consortium will conduct the largest-ever metagenomics study to categorize and understand micro-organisms and the factors that influence their activity in a normal, safe-factory environment. This work could be extended into the larger context of the food supply chain — from farm to fork — and lead to new insights into how microorganisms interact within a factory ecology and be better controlled by new data and science-driven practices. While many food companies such as Mars already have rigorous processes in place to ensure food safety risks are managed appropriately, this pioneering application of genomics will enable an in-depth understanding and categorization of micro-organisms on a much bigger scale than has previously been possible. The consortium will be adding new members from academia, industry and government. For more information about the consortium visit: Sequencing the Food Supply Chain or www.ibm.com/wildducks.
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) develops, manufactures, and markets a broad range of innovative products and solutions for the life science research and clinical diagnostic markets. The company is renowned for its commitment to quality and customer service among university and research institutions, hospitals, public health and commercial laboratories, as well as the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and food safety industries. Founded in 1952, Bio-Rad is based in Hercules, California, and serves more than 100,000 research and healthcare industry customers through its global network of operations. The company employs more than 7,600 people worldwide and had revenues exceeding $2.1 billion in 2014. For more information, please visit www.bio-rad.com.
Bio-Rad Forward-Looking Statements
This release may be deemed to contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements we make regarding our development of new products. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as, “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “may,” “will,” “intend,” “estimate,” “continue,” or similar expressions or the negative of those terms or expressions, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include our ability to develop and market new or improved products, problems we may encounter with our supply chain and product quality issues. For further information regarding our risks and uncertainties, please refer to the “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation&rdquo in Bio-Rad’s public reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014 and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2015. Bio-Rad cautions you not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which reflect an analysis only and speak only as of the date hereof. We disclai any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.
Tina Cuccia, Corporate Communications