The deal aims to develop, manufacture and market new molecular diagnostic products in which Nanogen and Fisher agreed to share technology and patent rights in order to make a significant dent in a market that is worth $6.5bn, representing approximately 3.3 per cent of the total diagnostics market and approximately 14 per cent of the in vitro diagnostic market. Additionally, the molecular diagnostics market will expand to $12bn by 2010 and $35 bn by 2015. Under the agreement, Fisher Scientific may provide up to $10m in total during 2007 and 2008 for the research and development of infectious disease and molecular diagnostic tests that will be mutually agreed upon. Additionally, Nanogen and Athena Diagnostics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fisher Scientific International, have agreed to develop, manufacture and market products based on Athena's proprietary biomarkers for research and for in vitro diagnostic use. "We see tremendous opportunities in molecular diagnostics and are pleased to be expanding our presence in this rapidly growing market," said Leland Foster, chief science officer for Fisher Scientific International. "By fostering a collaboration between Nanogen and Athena and furthering Nanogen's R&D efforts, we are advancing the abilities of both companies to bring diagnostic products to the marketplace." Molecular diagnostics is increasingly being combined with therapeutics forming an important component of integrated healthcare. Molecular diagnostic technologies are also involved in development of personalised medicine based on pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics. Currently, there has been a considerable interest in developing rapid diagnostic methods for biowarfare agents such as anthrax. Additional terms of the deal will see Nanogen and Athena Diagnostics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fisher Scientific International, develop, manufacture and market products based on Athena's proprietary biomarkers for research and for in vitro diagnostic use. Athena has an extensive portfolio of unique markers in the fields of neurology and endocrinology that it has successfully incorporated into its testing service, several of which could be incorporated into assays for use on Nanogen's microarray platform, the NanoChip400. Nanogen likewise has access to a wide range of markers that could be used to create unique tests for the Athena Diagnostics testing service "We are very pleased to further develop our relationship with Fisher," said Howard Birndorf, chairman and CEO of Nanogen. "Both companies share the belief that molecular diagnostics will play a fundamental role in the drive toward personalised healthcare, and we are excited to work together in this endeavour."