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Diagnostic Deals: A Roundup of the Key Mergers, Acquisitions, Alliances, Licenses and Other Strategic Transactions From the Past Month

The pace of deal making has picked up a bit, but deal volume remains relatively low on both the M&A and strategic alliance fronts. As usual, smaller molecular and genomics firms are supplying most of the energy; but after a frenetic 2017, the bigger players have toned it down. Here is an overview of the deals that did come down from mid-April to mid-May.

M&A
One of the biggest stories in 2018 lab M&A continues to be who is not partaking—namely, heavy hitters like Abbott, PerkinElmer and Thermo Fisher Scientific who are still digesting major acquisitions from the previous year—although the latter did make a move by acquiring DNA testing tech firm IntegenX for $65 million in March.

Agilent Technologies may be the most active firm of 2018 so far. In March, the lab instruments manufacturer announced that it had agreed to acquire privately held Advanced Analytical Technologies for $250 million. This month, it closed two more deals, including acquisitions of:

  • NGS technology firm Lasergen for $105 million; and
  • Swiss-based lab management software developer Genohm for an undisclosed price.

LabCorp’s involvement in the period’s biggest deal is something you’d expect; the surprise, though, is that this time the lab giant played the role of seller, announcing its agreement to sell off its Covance Food Solutions business to Eurofins Scientific for $670 million. The deal will allow the firm to focus on its core mission of improving health and lives, noted LabCorp CEO David King in a statement.

Meanwhile, Abcam announced that it was pulling back its takeover bid for Horizon Discovery after Horizon’s board of directors rejected Abcam’s offer claiming that the $364.7 million valuation on which it was based grossly understated Horizon’s actual value. Abcam says it no longer intends to make any further offers for the company.

Strategic Alliances
One deal making a big splash was LabCorp and Walgreens’ agreement to expand their consumer collaboration by opening 10 new LabCorp patient service centers within Walgreens stores in Florida. Last year, the companies opened five co-branded in-store locations providing specimen collection services, four in Colorado and one in North Carolina.

The Walgreens deal was only part of LabCorp’s busy month. In addition to inking the Covance sale noted above, the North Carolina-based diagnostics megafirm announced a new collaboration with The Recovery Platform designed to expand access to medication-assisted opioid recovery treatment. A week earlier, LabCorp inked a deal to become the primary reference lab for the Mount Sinai Health System, one of the largest and most prestigious health networks in the metropolitan New York City area.

Here’s a summary of the key diagnostic deals from mid-April to mid-May:

MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS & ASSET SALES
Acquiring Company Target(s) Deal Summary
Illumina Edico Genome
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closed
  • Illumina to use Edico’s DRAGEN platform to speed up and improve its own genomic sequencing solutions
Agilent Technologies Lasergen
  • Price: $105 million
  • Status: Closed
  • In 2016, Agilent acquired 48% of Lasergen
  • Plan is to combine Agilent’s engineering expertise with Lasergen’s NGS chemistry to build entire clinical sequencing workflow
  • Newly merged firm to be called LaserGen
Agilent Technologies Genohm
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closed
  • Agilent to integrate Genohm’s SLIMS lab information management software into its own OpenLabs products
Eurofins Scientific Covance Food Solutions (owned by Laboratory Corporation of America)
  • Price: $670 million cash
  • Status: Expected to close in Q3
  • Divesting Covance, which posted $150 million in 2017 pro forma revenue, frees LabCorp to focus on its core medical business
Epistem 2 Genedrive
  • Price: £1.9 million ($2.6 million) cash
  • Status: Conditional sale with no closing date announced
  • Genedrive to sell its contract research and pharmacogenomics divisions so it can focus entirely on molecular diagnostics market
Sygnis TGR Biosciences
  • Price: €10.1 ($12.0 million)
  • Status: Closed
  • Acquisition of Australian reagent manufacturer enables Sygnis to expand its immunology, genomic and proteomic product and service lines
DNA Diagnostics Center ContraVac
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: No closing date announced
  • Acquisition of all assets of male reproductive health company which will be relocated from Charlottesville, VA to Fairfield, OH
LGC BioAutomation
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closed
  • LGC acquires manufacturer of MerMade line of oligonucleotide synthesis instruments
Genoptix Rosetta Genomics
  • Price: $9 million in cash
  • Status: Rosetta shareholders approve proposed merger slated to close on May 27
  • Nay vote of Rosetta shareholder scuttled first merger agreement between the two in Dec. 2017
Reprocell BioServe Biotechnologies (wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Genetics)
  • Price: Up to $1.9 million–$1.6 million upfront and balance in 6 months depending on BioServe’s post-acquisition revenues
  • Status: No closing date announced
  • Sale of NGS and genomics services firm based in India acquired for $1.9 million in 2014 is part of beleaguered BioServe’s turnaround strategy
Precision Therapeutics Helomics(formerly Skyline Medical) Helomics
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: To close in May
  • Precision to acquire remaining 75% of Helomics shares after buying a 25% equity stake in Dec.
  • As part of deal, newly formed subsidiary of Precision called TumorGenesis will merge with Helomics
Axcel (Nordic private equity investment company) Orion Diagnostica (owned by Orion)
  • Price: Fixed purchase price of about €163 million ($199.3) + variable component of up to €60 million based on Axcel’s return on investment
  • Status: Expected to close in Q2
  • Orion Diagnostica offers point-of-care isothermal amplification-based molecular diagnostic system called GenRead
Boston Scientific nVision Medical
  • Price: $150 million cash upfront + up to $125 million more contingent on meeting clinical and commercial milestones
  • Status: Closed
  • nVision developer of FDA-cleared device for collecting cells from fallopian tubes
STRATEGIC ALLIANCES, PARTNERSHIPS & COLLABORATIONS
Partner 1 Partner 2 Deal Summary
Laboratory Corporation of America Walgreens
  • Objective: Expand current collaboration into Florida
  • Dynamic: Open 10 new LabCorp patient service centers within Walgreens stores in April and May (4 in Gainesville + 2 each in Palm Beach County, Pasco Country and Orlando area)
  • Triples total number of LabCorp-branded centers (which currently includes 4 in Denver area and 1 in Morrisville, North Carolina opened in 2017)
Laboratory Corporation of America The Recovery Platform
  • Objective: Expand access to medication-assisted opioid treatment across US
  • Dynamic: LabCorp to become exclusive national lab integrated within The Recovery Platform, a monitoring tool used by primary care physicians to manage patient recovery from opioid use disorder
Laboratory Corporation of America Mount Sinai Health System
  • Objective: Standardize and improve inpatient lab services across Mount Sinai system
  • Dynamic: LabCorp, which is currently Mount Sinai’s primary lab services provider, to standardize test menus, equipment, supplies, logistics and processes at 7 system hospitals
BGI Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto)
  • Objective: Develop diagnostic test for preterm birth
  • Dynamic: BGI to install a BGISEQ-500 sequencing instrument at hospital’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
  • First placement of BGISEQ platform in North America
BGI Johns Hopkins University
  • Objective: Create genomic and immunogenomic database of pancreatic cancer and related malignancies
  • Dynamic: Will also analyze data collected by the Pancreatic Cancer Precision Medicine Center of Excellence, focusing on biomarker discovery, validation and neoepitope prediction related to patient survival, drug response and resistance
GenomeDx Janssen Pharmaceuticals
  • Objective: Test GenomeDx’s Decipher GRID database of cancer genomic profiles with samples from prostate cancer clinical trials run by Janssen
  • Dynamic: GenomeDx to test samples to evaluate association of prognostic and predictive genomic signatures from Decipher GRID platform
Fujirebio Janssen Pharmaceuticals
  • Objective: Develop test to identify Alzheimer’s patients who can benefit from Janssen’s investigational oral BACE inhibitor, atabecestat
  • Assay to run on Lumipulse instrument, a chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay system
Siemens Healthineers Hill-Rom
  • Objective: Comarketing of diabetes care products
  • Dynamic: Siemens Healthineers’ products in offering include DCA Vantage Analyzer for HbA1c testing and Clinitek Status + Urine Chemistry Urine Analyzer for kidney checks
  • Offering to also include Hill-Rom’s Welch Allyn RetinaVue Network and imaging technology for teleretinal exams
Siemens Healthineers Hermes Pardini Group
  • Objective: Develop clinical analysis lab in Brazil
  • Dynamic: Initiative part of Enterprise Project expected to handle 110 million sample tubes per year
  • Siemens Healthineers to provide "fully automated multidisciplinary solution" consisting of at least 100 analyzers, including over 50 Siemens Atellica Solution clinical chemistry and immunoassay analyzers
Foundation Medicine Roche
+
Dian Diagnostics
  • Objective: Offer Foundation’s NGS tumor profiling tests in China
  • Dynamic: Dian to be exclusive clinical sequencing partner for FoundationOne, FoundationOne Heme and FoundationAct in China
  • Roche to keep commercial exclusivity for Foundation’s molecular information products in China and work with Dian to support integration of assays into local clinical care
Thermo Fisher Scientific Daiichi Sankyo
+
Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  • Objective: Use Oncomine Dx Target Test for clinical trials and drug development
  • Dynamic: Thermo to validate additional biomarkers and gene variants on Oncomine and retain test’s global commercialization rights
  • Thermo also responsible for filing supplemental premarket approval applications with FDA
Thermo Fisher Scientific Leica Microsystems
  • Objective: Develop integrated cryo-tomography workflow for life science research
  • Dynamic: Integrate Leica light microscopes with Thermo cryo-electron microscopes
SQI Diagnostics Microdrop
  • Objective: Sell SQI’s microarray celiac and wheat allergy, and rheumatoid arthritis tests directly to consumers
  • Dynamic: Microdrop to license rights to tests subject to performance obligations by both parties
  • Microdrop to also purchase 2 sqidlite testing systems
Protagen University of California, San Francisco
  • Objective: Develop immunotherapies for prostate cancer
  • Dynamic: Use Protagen’s SeroTag platform to predict patient response to immunotherapy treatment and monitor for adverse effects, including development of cold tumors that respond poorly to immunotherapy
Invivoscribe Technologies American University of Beirut Medical Center
  • Objective: Create reference lab offering specialized gene panels in Middle East
  • Dynamic: Lab would test for all hematologic diseases, including leukemia and lymphoma, standardized tests and bioinformatics tools provided by Invivoscribe’s Laboratory for Personalized Molecular Medicine clinical facilities in US, Japan and Germany
Partek Dolomite Bio
  • Objective: Develop single-cell analysis pipeline on Partek Flow software platform
  • Dynamic: Leverage data created by Dolomite’s Nadia technology for single-cell RNA sequencing to help researchers understand genomic expression patterns of single cells
Abcam Shuwen Biotech
  • Objective: Develop and commercialization companion diagnostics
  • Dynamic: Abcam to provide reproducible, highly specific recombinant antibodies against key targets, which Shuwen will incorporate into CDx kits
HTG Molecular Diagnostics Firalis
  • Objective: Commercialization of BIOPRED, Firalis’s NGS-based rheumatoid arthritis theranostic assay
  • Dynamic: HTG to supply assay components to Firalis
  • Firalis to manufacture, get regulatory approvals for, and sell BIOPRED assay as kits
  • Kits to be automated on EdgeSeq systems that end users buy directly from HTG
OnRamp Bioinformatics Advaita BioInformatics
  • Objective: Combine respective technologies to create end-to-end genomic data analysis solution
  • Dynamic: OnRamp’s Rosalind genomic data analysis platform to be combined with Advaita’s iPathway- Guide pathway analysis platform
  • Five Prime to use to select patients for Phase 3 of its registrational FIGHT trial evaluating bemarituzumab in combination with chemotherapy as front-line treatment in patients with advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer with FGFR2 amplification
NanoString Technologies 5 different contract research organizations including Covance, Cancer Genetics, Core Diagnostics, Propath UK and another undisclosed CRO
  • Objective: Expand access to NanoString’s Digital Spatial Profiling technology
  • Dynamic: CROs to CROS to market DSP services to their customers via technology access program in advance of NanoString’s expected 2019 commercial launch of DSP instrument platform
Invitae Biogen
  • Objective: Provide free genetic testing to patients diagnosed with or suspected of having spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)
  • Dynamic: Program called SMA Identified
NimaGen Radboud University Medical Center
  • Objective: Develop target enrichment library prep kits for NGS
  • Dynamic: Kits to be based on single-molecule molecular inversion probes
  • NimaGen to manufacture kits which will be sold under its proprietary EasySeq technology line
Xifin PriorAuthNow
  • Objective: Integrate respective platforms to streamline diagnostic labs prior authorization process
  • Dynamic: Combine PriorAuthNow’s platform with Xifin RPM 9’s intelligent automation
  • Appalachian to also gain access to LabCorp Diagnostics’ info technology and data analytics services to improve patient care
Chembio Diagnostics LumiraDx
  • Objective: Develop point-of-care diagnostic tests for infectious diseases
  • Dynamic: Chembio to get LumiraDx funding if it meets specific milestones
  • If tests get regulatory approval and are commercialized, Chembio to be paid royalty payments and sell reagents to LumiraDx
Freenome Biognosys
  • Objective: Improve early cancer detection and precision oncology
  • Dynamic: Freenome to use Biognosys’ technology to add protein quantification for the development of its first commercially available screening test
DISTRIBUTION, SALES & MARKETING AGREEMENTS
Property Owner Distributor Deal Summary
IncellDx BPI
  • Products: IncellDx’s OncoTect, HPV E6/E7 and mRNA tests, and IncellPrep prep kit
  • Territories: Middle East, North Africa
VolitionRx Active Motif
  • Products: Research-use-only kits based on VolitionRx’s Nucleosomics technology
  • Territory: Global
Illumina CareDx
  • Products: Illumina’s TruSight HLA v1 and v2 product lines and associated Assign HLA software
  • Territory: Global
  • CareDx named exclusive worldwide distributor
PlexBio Eurclone Diagnostica
  • Products: PlexBio’s IntelliPlex 1000 πCode Processor, the PlexBio 100 Fluorescent Analyzer, and several PlexBio molecular diagnostics kits
  • Territory: Italy
  • Exclusive
Mologic Medisur
+
Peripal
  • Products: Mologic’s Periplex point-of-care test for detecting infections in peritoneal dialysis patients
  • Territories: France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland
Molecular Biology Systems Canon BioMedical
  • Products: MBS’s NextGenPCR thermal cycler instrument and consumables
  • Territories: US, Canada
  • Exclusive
SpeeDx Serosep
  • Products: SpeeDx’s multiplexed PlexPCR and ResistancePlus tests
  • Territories: UK, Ireland
Omega Diagnostics Immunodiagnostic Systems
  • Products: Omega’s Allersys, panel of 51 allergy assays
  • Territory: Global
LICENSES
Licensor Licensee Deal Summary
Case Western Reserve University PavMed
  • Property: Case Western’s EsoCheck technology
  • PAVMed’s newly formed sub, Lucid Diagnostics, get exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize EsoCheck cell sampling device and DNA biomarker test and all derivatives
  • Case Western and its faculty inventors get non-cash license fee in form of minority equity stake in Lucid Diagnostics, with PavMed keeping an 82% equity interest
ERS Genomics Evotec
  • Property: CRISPR-Cas9 technology
  • License enables Evotec to expand its service offering in gene-editing space
University of Nebraska Taconic Biosciences
  • Property: Easi-CRISPR genome-editing technology
  • Property: Easi-CRISPR genome-editing technology
  • Taconic gets right to generate and sell rodent models using Easi-CRISPR technology
DISTRIBUTION, SALES & MARKETING AGREEMENTS
Supplier/Servicer Client Deal Summary
Abbott Sanquin
  • Multiyear contract to supply primary serological equipment and consumables, including Abbott’s Alinity s system for blood and plasma screening
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