MERGERS

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

After last month’s flurry of transactions, business calmed down as it often does during the start of summer. Here are the key deals and trends from mid-June through the third week of July.

M&A
The year’s biggest deal in the lab M&A space, Roche’s $2.4 billion acquisition of the 43% of Foundation Medicine that it does not currently own, progressed toward its scheduled 2018 closing with the launch of a tender offer for Foundation at $137 per share, a premium of 29% over its June 18 market valuation. Once the tender offer closes on July 30, Roche will acquire the remaining shares via merger. Acquiring the molecular analysis and genomic profiling assets of its erstwhile collaborator, which will remain autonomous after the merger, has become a major part of Roche’s strategy for bolstering its position in personalized healthcare.

Agilent Technologies continued its shopping spree by inking a deal to acquire privately-held glycan reagents producer ProZyme for an undisclosed price. This is the one-time Hewlett-Packard spinoff’s fourth M&A deal of the year following the completion of its $250 million purchase of Advanced Analytical Technologies and announced agreements to acquire Korean scientific instruments distributor Young In Scientific and chemical standards provider Ultra Scientific for undisclosed amounts.

Another big deal was Thermo Fisher Scientific’s June 25 announcement of its deal to buy Roper subsidiary Gatan for $925 million in cash. The electron microscope software manufacturer with 320 employees and roughly $150 million in annual revenues will become part of Thermo Fisher’s analytical instruments unit once the deal closes by year’s end.

Strategic Alliances
Strategic collaboration was noticeably slow, in terms of both volume and impact with collaborations between diagnostics firms and academic institutions and nonprofits furnishing most of the impetus. Of course, there were a few deals pairing heavy hitters from the private sector, including the collaboration of

  • Illumina and PerkinElmer to codevelop metagenomic sequencing workflow enabling DNA extraction and sequencing from samples without the need to culture the bacteria
  • Illumina and OrigiMed to develop new molecular oncology assays; and
  • Bio-Rad and Bruker to comarket workflow solutions for pathogen detection and confirmation.

The other salient trend during the period was the trio of strategic alliances targeting the China market with Predicine, Agena Bioscience and Berlin, Germany-based CeGaT teaming with local partners to provide diagnostics services to the vast Chinese market.

The headliner on the consumer genetics front was Nutrisystem’s partnering with Akesogen and Genetic Direction to launch DNA Body Blueprint, a genetic analysis test in which DNA from cheek swabs is used to generate personalized information on an individual customer’s nutrition, metabolism and eating behaviors for use in tailoring individualized weight loss plans.

Here’s a summary of all the key diagnostic deals from mid-May through the third week in June:

MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS & ASSET SALES
Acquiring Company Target(s) Deal Summary
Roche Foundation Medicine
  • Price: $2.4 billion cash
  • Status: Expected to close in second half of 2019
  • Deal furthers Roche’s personalized healthcare strategy since molecular analysis and genomic profiling enable development of new cancer treatments

Agilent Technologies

ProZyme
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Agreement to acquire with no closing date announced
  • Acquisition of privately-held provider of glycan analysis reagents, kits and standards expands Agilent’s portfolio of biopharma consumables in glycan market
Bruker JPK Instruments
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closed
  • Bruker acquires Berlin-based provider of microscopy instruments for biomolecular and cellular imaging, and force measurements on single molecules, cells and tissues with 2017 revenues of approximately €10 million ($11.7 million)
Thermo Fisher Scientific Gatan
(wholly-owned subsidiary of Roper)
  • Price: $925 million cash
  • Status: Expected to close by end of 2018
  • Gatan, a California-based manufacturer of electron microscope instrumentation and software, to become part of Thermo Fisher’s analytical instruments business unit
Biodesix Integrated Diagnostics  
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closed
  • Acquisition of Seattle-based producer of XL2 lung cancer test previously known as Xpresys Lung
Bio-Techne Exosome Diagnostics
  • Price: Up to $575 million, $250 million upfront and $325 contingent
  • Status: Agreement to acquire scheduled to close in July or August
  • Techne will seek to leverage Exosome’s technology to interpret complex gene expression data and find early predictors of disease progression
Locus Biosciences EpiBiome
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closed
  • Asset sale in Locus Biosciences acquires EpiBiome’s high-throughput bacteriophage discovery platform which it intends to pair with its own CRISPR-based synthetic biology platform to develop antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection treatment products
Eurobio Scientific Dendritics
  • Price: Cash deal at undisclosed price
  • Status: Closed
  • Acquisition of French firm that develops antibodies against immune system and other cells for discovery of targets with high diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic potential that posted about €350,000 ($410,000) in 2017 revenues
Kypha Biosensia
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closed
  • Acquired diagnostics platform and contract development company to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kypha
Now Diagnostics Cellmic
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closed
  • Asset sale under which Now Diagnostics  mobile DX firm’s rapid assay reader product lines
  • Now Diagnostics to integrate Cellmic’s advanced reader technology with its own AdexusDx test platform
Precision Therapeutics Helomics
  • Status: Definitive agreement to merge
  • After taking 25% equity stake in Helmomics last Dec., Precision to acquire remaining 75% with newly acquired shares tobe converted into right to receive proportionate share of 7.5 million shares of newly issued Precision common stock
  • Merger contingent on exchange of at least 75% of Helomics’ $7.6 million in outstanding promissory notes for additional shares of Precision common stock at $1 per share
Lab21 Products (protein diagnostics division of Novacyt) Omega Diagnostics
  • Price: Up to £2.2 million ($2.9 million), including acquisition fee of £1.8 million upon completion, £175,000 after 12 months and £200,000 upon accreditation of Omega’s production facility
  • Status: Agreement to acquire with no closing date announced
  • Lab21 to assume commercial rights to core registered brands including Immutrep, Avitex, Micropath, Pathozyme and some smaller brands
  • Omega gives Lab21 limited-time license to use name Visitect for lateral flow tests other than Omega’s Visitect CD4 assets
Helix HumanCode
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Closed
  • Helix acquires Colorado firm that developed the BabyGlimpse and DNAPassport apps for the Helix platform
Vela Diagnostics Great Basin Scientific
  • Price: Undisclosed
  • Status: Definitive agreement with no closing date announced
  • Vela to add microbiology capabilities to its existing virology and oncology business, as well as Great Basin’s six FDA-approved cartridge-based assays
STRATEGIC ALLIANCES, PARTNERSHIPS & COLLABORATIONS
Partner 1 Partner 2 Deal Summary
PerkinElmer Enzyvant
  • Objective: Provide diagnostic testing for Farber disease
  • Dynamic: PerkinElmer Genomics lab and genetic testing unit to offer tests screening for mutations in ASAH1 gene
PerkinElmer Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island
  • Objective: Evaluate performance of noninvasive prenatal testing system that PerkinElmer acquired from Vanadis Diagnostics in 2016
  • Dynamic: So called Value study (Validation of a Lower Cost Aneuploidy Screen) to test samples from 2,650 pregnant women to measure platform’s performance in detection, false positives, turnaround time, associated costs, fetal sex determination and quality metrics
Illumina OrigiMed
  • Objective: Develop new oncology assays
  • Dynamic: Tests to be developed on Illumina’s NGS instruments for cancer molecular diagnostics
  • OrigiMed also to develop a bioinformatics solution for medical institutions
Illumina PerkinElmer
  • Objective: Codevelop metagenomic sequencing workflow enabling DNA extraction and sequencing from samples without need to culture the bacteria
  • Dynamic: Workflow combines Illumina’s Nextera DNA Flex library prep kit with PerkinElmer’s automation
B. Braun China CeGaT (Germany)
  • Objective: Provide clinical genetic testing services in China
  • Dynamic: Newly formed B. Braun Precision Medicine Technology subsidiary in Shanghai to provide hereditary disease and oncology clinical genetic testing and counseling services
  • CeGaT to offer its full menu of diagnostics products in China with testing conducted at its labs in Germany and China
Agena Bioscience Zhejian Dian Diagnostics
  • Objective: Commercialize Agena’s MassArray system and DNA testing products in China
  • Dynamic: Dian to use MassArray system for molecular genetic testing
  • This is Agena’s third strategic deal in China in past two years
Predicine Kintor Pharmaceuticals
  • Objective: Develop companion diagnostics for FDA approval in US and China
  • Dynamic: Kintor to use Predicine’s GeneRADAR liquid biopsy platform to improve its prostate, breast and liver cancer oncology products pipeline
Indivumed Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR)
  • Objective: Perform proteomics research with aim of building out the IndivuType global cancer database
  • Dynamic: A*STAR’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology to perform proteomic and phosphoproteomic analyses on tissue samples from Indivumed cancer biobank with resulting data to be added to IndivuType
Bio-Rad Laboratories Bruker
  • Objective: Comarket foodborne pathogen detection and confirmation workflow solutions
  • Dynamic: Bio-Rad’s RAPID’chromogenic media that screens food products for pathogenic bacteria to be comarketed with Bruker’s MALDI Biotyper for confirming and identifying the detected organisms
NuMedii Yale School of Medicine
+
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Objective: Use single-cell RNA sequencing to identify new drugs and biomarkers for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic lung disease
  • Dynamic: NuMedii, a Stanford Univ. AI spinout, to combine partner labs’ patient single-cell RNA sequencing data with its own AI artificial intelligence technology
Beckman Coulter Diagnostics University of California, Irvine
  • Objective: New DX product development
  • Dynamic: Beckman Coulter to gain access to UCI research in diagnostic platforms, life science applications, devices and data analytics
Diversigen Norgen Biotek
  • Objective: Combine services into a single end-to-end offering for microbiome research
  • Dynamic: Combine Diversigen’s microbiome and metagenomics consulting, sequencing and data analysis services with Norgen’s RNA, DNA, protein purification and NGS sample prep products
BC Platforms Tieto
  • Objective: Develop genomic data management technology
  • Dynamic: Use Tieto’s Lifecare line of healthcare technology to create platform for integrating clinical and genomic data that can be used to improve predictive and precision medicine
Evonetix Durham University
  • Objective: Develop method for DNA synthesis
  • Dynamic: £1.3 million ($1.7 million) project funded partly by Innovate UK to use Evonetix’s technology which uses an addressable silicon array to direct synthesis of DNA at many sites in parallel, followed by an error-detection process to allow scale assembly of high-fidelity DNA
Bayer Broad Institute
  • Objective: Research causes of heart failure and identify new drug targets for condition
  • Dynamic: Scientists from each organization to collaborate on developing high-resolution, single-cell maps of cardiovascular tissues in human and animal models
  • Partners establish Precision Cardiology Laboratory at Broad where work will be done
Freenome Medical University of Graz (Austria)
  • Objective: Create new lab at University to investigate cell-free DNA and other bloodborne molecules as cancer biomarkers for use in early detection and personalized treatment
  • Dynamic: Lab to use Freenome’s AI genomics technology to investigate role of cfDNA and other cell-free biomarkers in cancer
Genome.One Clearbridge Health
  • Objective: Promote Genome.One’s GoExplore personalized genomics service to Clearbridge customers in Asia
  • Dynamic: Clearbridge clinicians to refer GoExplore to their patients in Singapore and Hong Kong
SingularityNet Project Shivom
  • Objective: Combine blockchain technology, AI and genomics for medical analytics
  • Dynamic: Leverage SingularityNet’s commercial AI solutions with Project Shivom’s expertise for harnessing blockchain technology for genomic information and analytics
WIRB-Copernicus Group (WCG) (thru its Clinical Services Division) InformedDNA
  • Objective: Create new “Center for Genetics and Precision Medicine in Clinical Trials” offering support services to biopharms, CROs and academic institutions in designing and conducting precision medicine clinical trials
  • Dynamic: Combine InformedDNA’s genetics resources and expertise with WCG’s global network of clinical trial optimization experts and industry Knowledge Base
SD Biosensor PATH
  • Objective: Develop diagnostic test for use in eliminating malaria
  • Dynamic: Partners to continue development of their Standard G6PD test to guide clinical care of patients with Plasmodium vivax malaria who also have a hereditary enzyme deficiency that can result in severe anemia if they are treated with 8-aminoquinoline-based drugs for the infection
  • Current test doesn’t adequately determine G6PD status of woman who carry the gene for G6PD deficiency on only one X chromosome and have intermediate G6PD activity levels
DISTRIBUTION, SALES & MARKETING AGREEMENTS
Property Owner Distributor Deal Summary
Akers Biosciences Appleton Medical Services
  • Product: Akers’ PIFA Heparin/PF4 Rapid Assay for rapid determination if patient being treated with the heparin blood thinner heparin at point of care may be developing thrombocytopenia
  • Territories: 12 US states—Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas
HalioDx Sohin
  • Product: HalioDx’s Immunoscore Colon assay
  • Territory: Mexico
  • Exclusive
Biocept Alliance Global
  • Products: Biocept’s Target Selector liquid biopsy tests
  • Territories: United Arab Emirates + select countries in Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia
MNG Laboratories Pronto Diagnostics
  • Products: MNG’s neurogenetic clinical RNA sequencing services
  • Territory: Israel
  • Exclusive
DiaCarta Arrow Diagnostics
  • Product: DiaCarta’s ColoScape colorectal cancer test
  • Territories: Italy, San Marino and Vatican City
  • Exclusive
Namocell Tomy Digital Biology
  • Product: Namocell’s Namo Single Cell Dispenser
  • Territory: Japan
Molecular Biology Systems Intas Science Imaging Instruments
  • Product: Molecular Biology’s NextGen PCR thermal cycler
  • Territory: Germany
LICENSES 
Licensor Licensee Deal Summary
GNS Healthcare Somalogic
  • Property: GNS Healthcare’s REFS (Reverse Engineering & Forward Simulation) causal machine learning technology
  • Somalogic gets right to use REFS technology to analyze protein datasets generated by its SomaScan proteomic platform
Janssen Pharmaceutica Saladax Biomedical
  • Property: Saladax gets right to acquire patent rights to Janssen Pharmaceutica’s tests to determine drug levels in patients treated with antipsychotic drugs
  • Exclusive
Beckman Coulter Diagnostics Health Canada
  • Property: Beckman Coulter’s Access Sensitive Estradiol assay
  • Government agency gets right to give Canadian labs access to test for patient reproductive health management
Proteomics International Laboratories Patia BioPharma
  • Property: Proteomics’ PromarkerD test for diabetic kidney disease licensed for commercialization in Mexico
  • Patia to develop and commercialize PromarkerD as a mass spec-based LDT performed by its partner, Clinica Ruiz Laboratories
SUPPLY, SERVICE & TESTING AGREEMENTS 
Supplier/Servicer Client/User Deal Summary
DNA Genotek Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
  • Renewal of multi-year agreement to supply DNA Genotek’s Oragene Dx saliva kits and GenoFIND custom collection kit packaging and order fulfillment services to Simons’ Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge (SPARK) project
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