San Diego’s Life Technologies Corp. has launched a series of tests developed with Harvard University researchers that gauge whether stem cells are able to perform in a lab setting and transform into other kinds of cells.

This comes three months after the partnership between the university and San Diego’s largest biotech was announced. As more and more scientists begin using stem cells in their research, they are looking for ways to make the process more efficient and inexpensive, the company said.

The test, called the TaqMan hPSC Scorecard, will be offered with cloud-based software for rapid data analysis and data sharing among researchers, the company said.

“The rapid advancements in stem cell research over the last few years have created a need for more effective and standardized methods for characterizing pluripotent cells,” said Alex Meissner, lead researcher in the project at Harvard University, in a statement. “Today, the field of genomics is helping to meet that demand through development of novel approaches that can help deliver the promise of stem cells.”

Indeed, the global stem cell characterization field is considered a growing segment in the $1 billion stem cell research tools market, according to a recent report from Arlington-based life sciences market research firm Bioinformatics LLC. The segment is currently valued at about $30 million a year.

— SDBJ Staff Report