The two assays, which will be initially developed, will be used for detecting mutations in the KRAS and BRAF genes responsible for cancer.

Under the collaboration, BD will be responsible for manufacturing and marketing the assays through out the world.

BD Diagnostics diagnostic systems president Tom Polen said, "When used in conjunction with other laboratory and clinical information, these assays will provide critical input to support oncologists and their patients in making more informed decisions about their care."

Lab21 CEO Graham Mullis said the company is involved in developing assays in cancer molecular diagnostics.

"We are pleased to expand our partnership with BD from the detection of Aspergillus species to the broader development and commercialization of important diagnostic markers in the oncology area," Mullis added.

In addition to oncology assays, both the companies will focus on developing nucleic acid extraction procedures from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue.

The terms of the transaction as well as information regarding additional assays have not been disclosed.