LANSING, Mich. – Assets of the Igenity animal genomics business have been acquired by Neogen Corporation from Merial Limited. Igenity will operate as a part of Neogen's GeneSeek subsidiary. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The Igenity business will be moved to GeneSeek's operations in Lincoln, Neb.

In use in the United States and several other countries for nine years, Igenity has provided cattle producers with the tools to make significant improvements in cattle genetics, according to a press release. GeneSeek previously conducted genetic testing of samples for Igenity and Igenity used that information with its bioinformatics system to identify the animal's positive or negative traits.

"After working as the laboratory partner for Merial's Igenity program for the past several years, we have been very pleased to aid in the expansion and improvement of the bioinformatics models that allow cattlemen to select the right individuals for their breeding programs and cattle feeders to select the desired feedlot cattle for quality beef in the market place," said James Herbert, Neogen's CEO and chairman. "Although GeneSeek will continue its multifaceted animal genomics business, the Igenity program will allow us to carry very specific and easy-to-use information to the commercial beef producers and processors around the world."

Igenity conducts significant business in Canada, the United Kingdom and Brazil. GeneSeek is the laboratory partner for the leading breed registries in beef cattle and dairy cattle. The company also works closely with the largest swine breeders and sheep breeders around the world, including Australia and New Zealand.

The Igenity program has commercialized the bioinformatics to detect a number of cattle diseases that have been found to be genetically transmitted. Results from these tests allow cattle producers to make certain that genetic carriers are not used in ongoing breeding programs. There are approximately seven known genetic disorders in beef cattle, which are part of the Igenity program.

According to a press release, the Igenity program allows cattle producers to select bulls at a young age based on their potential as a good sire. The program also allows for selecting females that will have good mothering ability and at the same time produce calves with quality traits such as tenderness, marbling, rib eye steak size and other carcass qualities, the company relays.